January 9, 2013

Women's Basketball Gets Back on Track with Win Over UW-Oshkosh

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team ended a three-game losing streak and handed UW-Oshkosh its third loss of the season, defeating the Titans 52-46 on Ken Anderson Court in Zorn Arena tonight.

While the lead changed hands eight times and the score was tied twice, the Blugolds led a majority of the night.

Eau Claire held the Titans scoreless over the first two minutes as the Blugolds built a 4-0 lead. But over a three-minute stretch, Oshkosh used a 10-0 run to get up by six, its largest lead of the night.

The Blugolds then went on a 14-2 run, with Sarah Bingea (Sr.-Delano, Minn.) and Morgan Rustad (So.-Hudson, Wis./Hill-Murray) combining to score 12 in that stretch, to get up by six points (18-12).

Eau Claire held the lead the rest of the first half but the final five minutes of the half were closely contested. The Blugolds led 24-21 at halftime.

Over the first eight minutes of the second half, Oshkosh outscored the Blugolds 12-8 but after Bingea hit a jumper at 11:38, the Blugolds took the lead for good. Her shot started an 8-0 run for Eau Claire as the Blugolds took a 40-33 lead. The Titans got to within one point just once the rest of the way and Eau Claire outscored Oshkosh 10-5 over the final five minutes to win by six.

Bingea led the Blugolds with 22 points and six rebounds while Rustad, coming off the bench, scored a career-high 11 points and pulled down five rebounds.

Eau Claire finished the game outshooting the Titans 51.2 percent (22-for-43) to 32 percent (16-for-50). Oshkosh held a rebounding advantage 32-25, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive end. The Blugolds scored 30 points in the paint to 14 for Oshkosh.

The Blugolds improve to 8-8 on the season and 3-4 in the WIAC while the Titans, who are in second place in the WIAC, drop to 12-3 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

Saturday the Blugolds will be home again to face UW-River Falls. The game is part of a doubleheader with the men and will get underway about 5 p.m.

-KM-