Women's Basketball Wins WIAC Opener at UW-La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Led by two double-doubles, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team opened Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a 53-47 win at UW-La Crosse today.

The Blugolds had three players reach double-digit point totals but Callie Halama (Sr.-Independence, Wis.) and Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) finished with double-doubles. Halama had 12 points and 11 rebounds while Plendl had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Laura Olson (Sr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) also added 12 points, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

It was a close game in the first half and over the first 15 minutes, the lead changed nine times while the score was tied one other time. Eau Claire got up by as much as three in the first 15 minutes while La Crosse's largest lead of five points came 14 minutes into the game.

After the Eagles reached their five-point lead, Olson hit back-to-back three-pointers to spark Eau Claire. Following her second three-pointer, the Blugolds never trailed the rest of the night.

The Blugolds closed the first half with a 10-2 run to take a three-point lead into halftime (27-24). La Crosse got to within one point four minutes into the second half, but the Blugolds followed with a 13-6 run to reach their largest lead of the game of eight points (46-38).

La Crosse got back to within two points with only 15 seconds left to play but Eau Claire closed the game with four straight points from the free throw line to secure the 53-47 win.

Eau Claire finished the game shooting 36.5 percent (19-for-52) while La Crosse went 19-for-58 (32.8 percent). The Blugolds also led with 44 rebounds to 33 for the Eagles and had nine blocked shots, seven coming from Plendl.

Both teams now hold 5-2 overall records while the Blugolds are 1-0 in conference play and La Crosse is 0-1 in the conference.

Next up, the Blugolds will be at UW-Platteville on Wednesday. Action is set to get underway at 7 p.m.

-KM-