DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team came up with another big win for the second day in a row, defeating Luther College (Iowa) 70-35 on the Blugolds' final day at the 2010 Daytona Beach Shootout at the ICI Center tonight.
Eau Claire opened the game strong with a 15-4 run over the first six minutes to get up by 11 points. While Luther cut the lead to seven points at the 13-minute mark, a three-pointer by Jade Pelzl (Fr.-Rushford, Minn./Rushford-Peterson) put the Blugolds back up by 10 three minutes later, and Eau Claire held a double-digit lead the rest of the way.
The Blugolds built a 22-point lead near the end of the first half, and despite not scoring over the final two and a half minutes, Eau Claire took an 18-point lead into halftime.
It was more of the same in the second half and the Blugolds continued to build their lead. Eau Claire held a lead of 20 or more points nearly the entire second half and allowed Luther to score just one point over the final six minutes and 57 seconds.
Eau Claire outshot the Norse 45.6 percent (26-for-57) to 25.9 percent (15-for-58) and outrebounded Luther 45-32. The teams were nearly even in turnovers with 19 for Luther to the Blugolds' 20, but Eau Claire scored 25 points off turnovers to 13 for Luther.
Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) led the game with 15 points and six assists while Laura Olson (Jr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) scored 12 points and Callie Halama (Jr.-Independence, Wis.) added 10. Hannah Mesick (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) nearly reached a double-double, finishing with a game-high 10 rebounds while scoring nine points. She also had four assists and a game-high four steals while finishing with five blocks.
Eau Claire improves to 6-4 on the season and is now 5-0 all-time against the Norse. The 35 points scored by Luther is the fewest the Blugolds have allowed since January 13, 2010 when they beat UW-Superior 57-33, and it also ties for the 22nd fewest points the Blugolds have allowed in program history.
Up next, the Blugolds will head to Wittenberg, Ohio for the Wittenberg University Classic. Eau Claire will face Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) on December 29 and will wrap up the classic against Hanover (Ind.) December 30. Both games will be contested at noon (Eastern).