November 22, 2011

Women's Basketball Halts St. Norbert Home Win Streak

DE PERE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team ended a 45-game run at home for St. Norbert College (Wis.) with a big 49-44 victory this evening.

Before tonight, St. Norbert had won its last 45 regular season games at Schuldes Sports Center. Ironically, the Blugolds also handed the Green Knights their last home loss just over four years ago with a 61-57 win.

In tonight's game, Eau Claire set the pace in the first half. About five minutes in, a Nicole Christianson (Sr.-Chetek, Wis.) jumper gave the Blugolds the lead and Eau Claire steadily built a 23-16 advantage by the end of the first half.

But it took the Green Knights just two minutes to whittle away the deficit. St. Norbert captured the lead early in the second, and a back-and-forth battle consumed the rest of the game.

With an even 44-44 score and the eighth tie of the game, Laura Olson (Sr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) nailed a three pointer to break the deadlock. With just seconds on the clock, Sarah Bingea (Jr.-Delano, Minn.) sealed the deal with two successful free throws and the Blugolds captured the victory on the Green Knights' home court.

Eau Claire concluded the game with a 40 percent (16 of 40) shooting percentage, higher than St. Norbert's 30.4 (14 of 46) average.

Bingea led the Blugold scoring effort with 14 points while Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) tallied a team-high seven rebounds.

Eau Claire improves to 3-1 overall on the year while St. Norbert drops to 2-2.

Next up, the Blugolds will take on Minnesota State University-Mankato this Saturday in Mankato. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

-AH-