By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
ST. JOSEPH, Minn. (Blugolds.com) –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team extended their season opening win streak to six with a 48-40 win over the College of Saint Benedict on the road Wednesday night.
Eau Claire jumped ahead early thanks Anna Graaskamp (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial), who scored four of the first five buckets for Eau Claire to lead 10-2 with 3:31 remaining in the first quarter. After one quarter of play, the Blugold held a 12-5 advantage.
Halfway through the second quarter Elly Boles (Sr. – Prescott, WI) connected on a bucket for a 12-point lead, 22-10. Saint Benedict went on a 10-2 run but Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) scored with 35 seconds in the first half to lead by six, 26-20 at the break.
Scores by Graaskamp and Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) pulled Eau Claire back up by 10. The Blugolds continued a strong quarter going on a 14-4 run until the Blazers ended their drought with 59 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Eau Claire broke things open on a Bakken three-pointer at the 5:32 of the final quarter for a 13-point advantage. The Blugolds held strong in the fourth knowing Saint Benedict would make a run. The Blazers closed to within six, 46-40 with 2:04 remaining in the game, but Eau Claire held them scoreless the rest of the game for their sixth straight victory.
Graaskamp led all scorers with 13 points while also recording a team-leading seven rebounds. Maddie Dunathan (Jr. – Hortonville, WI) and Bakken chipped in seven apiece. Boles had five points, three rebounds and three blocks in only seven minutes of action.
The Blugolds shot 40 percent (20-50) from the field of which 17 of the made field goals were assisted on. It was a strong defensive effort from Eau Claire forcing 17 turnovers, including six steals while also blocking 5 Blazer shots.
The Blugolds (6-0) host the University of Northwestern-St. Paul on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Zorn Arena. Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.