WESTERVILLE, Ohio (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team picked up a 74-56 victory over Thiel College (Pa.) on the opening day of the Smokey Ballenger Classic at Otterbein University (Ohio) today.
The Blugolds trailed just twice while the score was tied two other times early in the contest.
Less than six minutes into the game, Thiel led 7-6 but after a Cady Roedl (Fr.-Beaver Dam, Wis.) three-pointer, the Blugolds took the lead and never looked back. The basket started a 14-0 run over a three-minute stretch that gave the Blugolds a 13-point lead (20-7).
Eau Claire led by as many as 17 points in the first half but Thiel held the Blugolds scoreless over the final three minutes, using an 8-0 run to get to within seven points (34-27) by halftime.
Thiel hit the opening basket of the second half to cut Eau Claire's lead to five and the score remained close for the first 11 minutes of the second half.
Over a six minute stretch that lasted until the 2:26 mark, the Blugolds outscored Thiel 21-8 to get up by 19 (69-50) and reached their largest lead of the game (20 points) with less than a minute to play after Leah Rempert (Sr.-Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) nailed a three-pointer.
The Blugolds' bench came up big, scoring 45 of the team's 74 points. The Blugolds also had 36 points off 31 Thiel turnovers. Eau Claire turned the ball over just 11 times, its second lowest total of the season.
Eau Claire is now 6-5 on the season while Thiel drops to 2-8.
Saturday, the Blugolds will take on Frostburg State (Md.) on the final day of the Smokey Ballenger Classic at Otterbein University (Ohio). Action is set to get underway at 1 p.m. Eastern.