February 13, 2013

Women's Basketball Punches Ticket to WIAC Tournament

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – With a 77-68 victory over UW-Platteville tonight on Bo Ryan Court, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team ensured it would be a part of this year's WIAC Tournament, which will get underway next Wednesday.

Because Eau Claire won and UW-La Crosse and UW-Stout lost tonight, the Blugolds will be the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament. They will play on the road at either UW-Oshkosh, UW-Stevens Point or UW-Superior next Wednesday in the first round at 7 p.m.

In tonight's game, the Blugolds never trailed and the score was only tied at one time early in the first half.

Just over two minutes into the contest, Sarah Bingea (Sr.-Delano, Minn.) hit a pair of free throws, and the Blugolds led the rest of the night.

Eau Claire used a 23-8 run to build a 15-point lead (25-10) midway through the first half and led 36-27 at halftime.

Platteville came on strong early in the second half and got to within one (42-41) just over seven minutes into the half after outscoring the Blugolds 14-6.

The Blugolds then used a 17-4 run to get back up by 14 with seven minutes left, but the Pioneers didn't go away and had a 13-2 run to get back within three (61-58) with less than five minutes to play. But the Blugolds outscored the Pioneers 16-10 the rest of the way to hang on for the win.

Courtney Lewis (So.-Prairie Du Chien, Wis.) led the game with a career-high 28 points while Bingea scored 18 and Leah Rempert (Sr.-Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) added 15. Rempert led the Blugolds with eight rebounds while Lewis had six to go along with six assists.

Eau Claire finished the game shooting 55.1 percent (27-for-49) to 43.8 percent (28-for-64) for the Pioneers.

The Blugolds are now 11-13 overall and 6-9 in WIAC play. Platteville ends its season with a 5-20 overall and 1-15 conference record.

Eau Claire will close out the regular season at UW-Stevens Point on Saturday. The game is part of a doubleheader with the men and it will get underway about 5 p.m.

-KM-