Women's Basketball Drops Heated Battle to Falcons

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The 16th-ranked UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team led a majority of the game against 24th-ranked UW-River Falls but came up just short in the end, 60-59, at Zorn Arena this afternoon.

The Blugolds started the game well, building an 8-2 lead over the first four minutes. They pushed their lead to eight points (14-6) eight minutes into the game but the Falcons then went on a 9-0 run to take their first lead of the game.

Over the final nine minutes of the half, the Blugolds outscored River Falls 19-10 to take a 33-25 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Blugolds controlled for almost the first 11 minutes, getting up at one time by seven points. But the final eight minutes the teams went back and forth until River Falls snuck just past the Blugolds.

River Falls went up by five points with seven minutes remaining but the Blugolds then went on a 6-0 run to take a one-point lead. The Blugolds led by as much as two with less than three minutes remaining and were up by one with just over a minute to play, but a final layup by River Falls' Tiffany Gregorich lifted the Falcons past the Blugolds.

Sarah Bingea (Jr.-Delano, Minn.) led the Blugolds with a double-double as she scored 12 points while pulling down 10 rebounds.

Callie Halama (Sr.-Independence, Wis.) scored a team-high 15 points and Ellen Plendl (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) tied her own school record for most blocks in a game with 10. She set the school record of 10 last season at UW-River Falls on Feb. 2.

The Blugolds led the Falcons in shooting, 49.1 percent (26-for-53) to 38.1 percent (24-for-63) but the Falcons held the rebounding advantage, 38-32, including 20-10 on the offensive end.

Eau Claire drops to 17-5 on the season and 10-3 in the WIAC while River Falls improves to 17-4 overall and 9-3 in conference play.

The Blugolds will have a week off with their next game scheduled for Feb. 11 at UW-Stout.

-KM-