January 11, 2012

Women's Basketball Holds on to Beat UW-Oshkosh 52-47

OSHKOSH, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While the 25th-ranked UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team led by just one point at halftime, the Blugolds were able to pull away from UW-Oshkosh in the second half, though the Titans made a late comeback, to win 52-47 at Kolf Sports Center tonight.

Eau Claire led most of the first half but after getting up by five points eight minutes into the half, the Titans went on an 8-0 run to build a three-point advantage.

From there, the teams went back and forth and the Titans never led by more than three points. With less than five minutes to play and the teams tied at 17, the Blugolds went on a 10-0 scoring run, seven of which came from Callie Halama (Sr.-Independence, Wis.), to get up by seven. But Oshkosh scored six unanswered to close the half down by just one point (24-23).

The Blugolds finally found a rhythm in the second half and steadily built to a double-digit lead after scoring 11 unanswered to open the half.

Just over six minutes into the second half, the Blugolds were up 14 points but the Titans didn't go away as they cut the lead back down to only eight points (45-37) with just over seven minutes remaining.

Over the remaining minutes, while the Blugolds got back up by 13 points, Oshkosh made it interesting near the end. A 10-0 Titan run that lasted until there was just 30 seconds left in the game brought Oshkosh within three (50-47). But Nicole Christianson (Sr.-Chetek, Wis.) nailed two free throws at the end of the game to help the Blugolds to the five-point win.

Halama led the way for Eau Claire with a double-double as she scored a game-high 17 points while pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.

Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) also finished in double-figures as she scored 10 points. She pulled down nine rebounds and had seven blocked shots.

Neither team shot particularly well but the Blugolds edged the Titans 34.6 percent (18-for-52) to 31.4 percent (16-for-51). Eau Claire outrebounded Oshkosh 43-32.

The Blugolds improve to 13-3 overall and 6-1 in the conference while Oshkosh drops to 6-9 on the season and 0-6 in WIAC play.

The Blugolds will be on the road Saturday facing UW-River Falls in a doubleheader with the men. The women's game leads off the doubleheader and will get underway at 3 p.m.

-KM-

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