DECATUR, Ill. (Blugolds.com) - Despite leading at halftime and coming on strong late in the second half, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team fell short 69-64 to Marian University (Ind.) on day two of Millikin University's 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament today.
Marian (3-2) held a lead for almost the entire first two minutes of play but after a Sarah Bingea (So.-Delano, Minn.) free throw, the Blugolds (1-2) took a lead they wouldn't give up until the second half.
Behind 50 percent shooting from the floor in the first half to Marian's 30.8 percent, the Blugolds led by as much as 10 in the first half and took a three-point lead into halftime.
The second half was a different story as Marian outshot the Blugolds 43.5 percent to 40.9 percent, and Marian took a lead it would not give up less than six minutes into the second. Marian used a 7-0 run that lasted until the 9:18 mark to build a 10-point lead and got up by as much as 13 with less than four minutes to play.
But the Blugolds did not give up and used a 13-3 run to close the gap to just three points with five seconds to play. After a Blugold foul, Marian hit two free throws to go back up by five as time expired.
Hannah Mesick (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) had a big game for Eau Claire, scoring 26 points, a season-high and two shy of her career record, while leading the game with eight rebounds. She went 14-for-15 from the free throw line, two short of a program record for most free throws made in a game.
Laura Olson (Jr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) reached double-figures in scoring with 10 points while Bingea had six rebounds. Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) led the Blugolds with three steals.
Up next the Blugolds will host St. Norbert College on Tuesday in their home-opener. Tipoff at Zorn Arena is set for 7 p.m.