Women's Basketball Can't Get Past Ninth-Ranked UW-Stevens Point

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The 24th-ranked UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team dropped its first WIAC game of the season in a 64-60 loss at No. 9-ranked UW-Stevens Point today.

The Blugolds, who had won nine straight contests coming in to today's game, fall to 12-3 on the season and 5-1 in the WIAC. Stevens Point improves to 12-2 overall and 4-1 in the WIAC.

While the Blugolds led much of the opening half, the Pointers held the Blugolds scoreless over the final three minutes. Tied at 21, Stevens Point scored five unanswered points in the remaining three minutes of the first half to take a 26-21 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Pointers got up by as much as 12 points (35-23) early, but the Blugolds didn't give up. Eau Claire battled back throughout the half and got to within two points after a Courtney Lewis (Fr.-Prairie Du Chien, Wis.) free throw with 1:39 left to play.

But Stevens Point quickly turned the game back in its favor, scoring five unanswered to go back up by seven (61-54) with less than a minute to play. The closest Eau Claire could get after that was four points at the end of the game after a Sarah Bingea (Jr.-Delano, Minn.) layup. Bingea finished the game with 14 points.

Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) recorded her eighth double-double of the season as she scored 18 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. She also led the game with five blocks.

Callie Halama (Sr.-Independence, Wis.) led all scorers with 19 points and had eight rebounds.

As a team, the Blugolds outshot the Pointers, 44.4 percent to 40.3 percent, and edged them on the boards 41-33 but committed 15 turnovers to just eight for Stevens Point. The Pointers scored 13 points off turnovers compared to six for Eau Claire. The Blugolds had no three-pointers, the first time the Blugolds went scoreless from beyond the arc since January 20, 2010 (69-56 loss at Stevens Point).

Eau Claire will remain on the road Wednesday when they travel to Oshkosh to face UW-Oshkosh. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

-KM-