SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (Blugolds.com) - Despite leading a majority of the way, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team ended up falling to Hanover College (Ind.) 71-70 on the final day of the 2010 Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic hosted by Wittenberg University.
Over the first four minutes of the game, the teams went back and forth while Eau Claire did not begin to pull away until the 8:26 mark in the first half. The Blugolds outscored the Panthers 18-6 over the next eight minutes and were up by as much as 12 in the first half before Hanover closed the gap to eight points at halftime.
In the second half, the Blugolds scored seven straight points to go up by 15 less than two minutes into the half. Hanover began to chip away at the Blugolds' lead and while Eau Claire held a 14-point advantage just over four minutes into the half, Hanover scored seven in a row to cut the lead to seven.
Between 12:09 and 5:39, Hanover used a 19-4 run to get up by five and the Blugolds could never pull away after that point. The Blugolds led by just one point two more times the rest of the way, the last time being at 59 seconds. Hanover shot two free throws with 30 seconds to play to take the one-point lead. Eau Claire put up two shots at the end of the game but neither were made and Hanover held on for the one-point win.
Hannah Mesick (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) led the game with 22 points while Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) added 15. Both Christianson and Mesick were named to the All-Tournament Team at the conclusion of the classic. Sarah Bingea (So.-Delano, Minn.) had nine rebounds to lead the game while she scored nine points.
Eau Claire falls to 7-5 on the season while Hanover improves to 10-0. Today's game was the first meeting between the teams all-time.
The Blugolds will get back to conference play next week with a game at UW-Platteville on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.