DULUTH, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – After trailing by one at halftime, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team outscored the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) 38-27 in the second half to win its season-opener 68-58 at Reif Gymnasium tonight.
The Blugolds opened the game with the lead as Leah Rempert (Jr.-Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) hit a jumper just nine seconds in, but St. Scholastica then went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to build an eight-point lead.
While the Saints built a 12-point advantage just six minutes into the contest, the Blugolds steadily chipped away at the lead over the next 12 minutes and finally took back the lead at 2:18 with a Nicole Christianson (Sr.-Chetek, Wis.) three-pointer. But the teams exchanged baskets a couple times at the end of the half and the Saints found themselves up 31-30 at halftime.
The teams again went back-and-forth in the opening minutes of the second half but the Blugolds were finally able to grab a lead they wouldn't give up after Sarah Bingea (Jr.-Delano, Minn.), who led the Blugolds with 16 points, hit a jumper at 12:36 to put Eau Claire up 42-41.
The rest of the half went the Blugolds' way and while St. Scholastica was able to get within two points on two occasions, Eau Claire was able to steadily build a 10-point lead by the end of the game.
Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) recorded a double-double tonight with a career-high 14 rebounds while she scored 15 points. She also finished the game with four blocks.
Freshman Courtney Lewis (Prairie Du Chien, Wis.) finished the game with 12 points as she went 7-for-7 from the free throw line. She also pulled down five rebounds.
The Blugolds finished leading the Saints in rebounds 49-36 but Eau Claire had 25 turnovers to St. Scholastica's 17.
The Blugolds will host a four-team Tip-Off Tournament this Friday and Saturday in Zorn Arena. Illinois Wesleyan and Coe College will begin the tournament at 6 p.m. Friday while the Blugolds will follow with a game at 8 p.m. against Ripon College.