Women's Basketball Takes Down Nationally Ranked Warhawks

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team picked up its fourth straight win in the process of handing 21st-ranked UW-Whitewater its second straight loss in a 75-70 victory at Zorn Arena today.

In a game where the lead changed 11 times and it was tied six other times, the Blugolds never led by more than six points while the Warhawks never led by more than seven.

While Whitewater opened with a layup just seconds into the game, the Blugolds used an 8-0 run over the next two minutes to take a six point lead. Whitewater then went on a 20-11 run over the next 10 minutes to build a three-point advantage.

The Warhawks continued to build their lead and held on to the advantage two minutes into the second half.

The teams battled back and forth over the next 11 minutes of the second half, and it wasn't until there were about seven minutes remaining when Eau Claire wouldn't trail the rest of the way. The score was tied twice over the final seven minutes but the Blugolds were able to build a six-point near the end as they outscored Whitewater 6-2 over the final two minutes.

Callie Halama (Sr.-Independence, Wis.) and Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) both recorded double-doubles. Halama led the Blugolds with a career-high 23 points while pulling down 11 rebounds. Plendl finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Christianson (Sr.-Chetek, Wis.) had 19 points, six rebounds, six assists and three blocks. Whitewater's Mary Merg led the game with 29 points.

As a team, the Blugolds led in rebounding with 42 to Whitewater's 30, and shot 50.9 percent (28-for-55) to 40 percent (24-for-60) for the Warhawks.

Eau Claire improves to 7-2 overall and remains unbeaten in the WIAC with a 3-0 record. Whitewater falls to 6-3 on the season and 1-2 in WIAC play. The win for the Blugolds was their first over the Warhawks since the 2009-10 season, when they defeated Whitewater 57-53 in Zorn on January 16, 2010.

The Blugolds will be home Wednesday taking on UW-Superior. The game, which will be student appreciation night, will get underway at 7 p.m.

-KM-