LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Overtime was not kind to the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team tonight as the Blugolds fell 58-51 in a conference matchup at UW-La Crosse.
Eau Claire, which led a majority of the game, picked up the first basket of the night off a two point jumper from Sarah Bingea (Sr.-Delano, Minn.). La Crosse was quick to answer and the two battled neck in neck for the entire first half, going into halftime with UW-Eau Claire up 19-17.
The Blugolds once again scored first to open up the second half. However, less than two minutes in, La Crosse made a fast break layup to tie the game 23-23. The Blugolds steadily built a 10-point lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation but La Crosse began to come back.
Late in the second half, Eau Claire had a two-point lead before a turnover, and then a UW-La Crosse score tied the game at 44 with only 30 seconds left in regulation. Two more consecutive Eau Claire turnovers and a missed shot by La Crosse sent the game into overtime.
In the overtime, the Eagles outscored the Blugolds 14-7 to win by seven. This was the Blugolds' second overtime game of the season. They beat UW-Platteville in overtime in December. It's only the third time in school history the Blugolds played two overtimes in the same season with the last time being 2003 (also played two overtimes in 1980).
Eau Claire shot 20-for-56 (35.7 percent) from the field and just 4-for-15 (26.7 percent) from beyond the arc. The Eagles went 17-for-58 from the field (29.3 percent) and 7-for-21 (33.3 percent) from three point range. La Crosse also missed only three free throws on the night, going 17-for-20 (85 percent) while the Blugolds shot 53.8 percent (7-for-13).
Bingea was the only player with a double-double on the night, scoring 21 points and snagging 14 rebounds to lead the Blugolds. Teenie Lichtfuss (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./Lourdes) added 14 points. Morgan Rustad (So.-Hudson, Wis./Hill-Murray) also crashed the boards for Eau Claire, grabbing nine rebounds. The Blugolds held a 53-30 rebounding advantage.
UW-Eau Claire falls to 9-9 and 4-5 in WIAC play. UW-La Crosse goes to 9-9 (3-6 WIAC).
The Blugolds will be back in action at home on Wednesday as they take on UW-Superior. There will be a special event as the team will be raising cancer awareness through the Coaches vs. Cancer campaign. Tip-off is 7 p.m.