EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – In its first game of the 2012-13 season, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team started out on the right foot with a 69-41 victory over Northland College in the UW-Eau Claire Tip-Off Classic at Zorn Arena tonight.
The Blugolds never trailed after opening with an 18-0 run. It took Northland more than seven minutes to score its first basket, and Eau Claire found its way to a 20-point lead (25-5) with less than 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
The closest the LumberJills got after the Blugolds' 20-point lead was 13 after a 7-0 run that lasted until the six-minute mark.
By the end of the first half, the Blugolds were up by 19 (38-19).
In the second half, the Blugolds started off with an 11-1 run over the first four minutes to get up by 29. Eau Claire continued to build its advantage until reaching its largest margin of the night at 34 points with nine minutes remaining. Northland outscored the Blugolds 14-8 over the final eight minutes but Eau Claire still led by 28 at the end.
Courtney Lewis (So.-Prairie Du Chien, Wis.) led the game with 18 points, a career-high. Lewis, along with Rachel Egdorf (So.-Mishicot, Wis.), led the Blugolds with three rebounds. Additionally, Lewis and Teenie Lichtfuss (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./Lourdes) each had a game-high four assists.
As a team, the Blugolds shot 59.6 percent (28-for-47) from the field as Northland shot 29.5 percent (13-for-44). Eau Claire narrowly led in rebounding, 28-24, and Northland committed 17 turnovers as the Blugolds had 19.
Tomorrow, the Blugolds will be tested when they face Simpson College (Iowa), a team Eau Claire beat 69-61 in the first round of the NCAA Championship last season. Simpson beat UW-La Crosse 71-60 in the first game of the Tip-Off Classic Friday. Saturday's action will get underway at 5 p.m.