PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Down by 22 points in the second half, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team worked its way back to within one but couldn't overcome the deficit and fell 72-66 to UW-Platteville on Bo Ryan Court in Williams Fieldhouse tonight.
The Blugolds stuck with the Pioneers in the first half but led just once, 9-8, six minutes into the game. Platteville then outscored the Blugolds 14-4 over the next eight minutes to build a nine point lead. Eau Claire got back into the game with a 7-0 run, and the Blugolds found themselves down by just two points with less than three minutes left in the first half.
Over the final couple minutes of the first half, Platteville outscored the Blugolds 9-4 to take a seven point lead (31-24) into halftime.
The Pioneers came out strong in the second half, outscoring the Blugolds 22-7 over the first six minutes to get up by 22 points (53-31), their largest lead of the game.
But the Blugolds didn't go away and began to chip away at the Platteville lead. Eau Claire used a 23-3 run to get back to within two (56-54) with less than eight to play, and got to within one (63-62) with less than three minutes to play. But the Pioneers held on and outscored the Blugolds 9-4 the rest of the way to win by six.
Courtney Lewis (Jr.-Prairie du Chien, Wis.) led the Blugolds in scoring with 19 points while Teenie Lichtfuss (So.-Oshkosh, Wis./Lourdes) had 14 and Morgan Rustad (Jr.-Hudson, Wis.) added 10. Lichtfuss led Eau Claire with nine rebounds.
Neither team shot too well as Eau Claire led, going 23-for-60 from the field (38.3 percent) while the Pioneers went 26-for-72 (36.1 percent). Platteville outrebounded Eau Claire 45-38.
Eau Claire falls to 2-8 overall and 0-3 in the WIAC while Platteville improves to 6-4 on the season and 2-1 in conference play.
The Blugolds will now have a couple weeks off before playing in the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla. at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. They will face Delaware Valley College (Pa.) on Dec. 28 and Connecticut College on Dec. 30.