By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team used a fourth quarter 11-1 run to move to 7-0 to start the season with their victory over the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, in Zorn Arena Saturday night.
Northwestern-St. Paul led early 5-2, but buckets by Anna Graaskamp (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) and Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) gave Eau Claire their first lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter.
An 8-0 run by the Blugolds gave them a 19-12 advantage one minute into the second period. At the half Eau Claire was up 28-23.
Graaskamp had 10 points and five rebounds at the break. The Blugolds shot 45.8 percent (11-24) from the field over the first 20 minutes of the game.
Eau Claire opened the third quarter with a free throw by Graaskamp and a score by Brooke Harris (So. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port). The Eagles cut into the Blugold lead making it 34-29 with 5:41 left in the period. Then Bakken converted on two shots, including one after a steal, to give Eau Claire a nine-point advantage.
Northwestern battled back, but Eau Claire was still up 46-44 heading into the final quarter.
Things were notched up at 48 all when the Blugolds delivered. An 11-1 run by Eau Claire put them up 59-49 with 3:27 left in the game. The burst of offense was what they needed for the victory spoiling a late Eagles run that cut the Blugold lead to three with just six seconds remaining in the game.
Eau Claire shot 48.1 percent (26-54) from the field, 21.1 percent (4-19) from beyond the arc and 70.6 percent (12-17) at the free throw line.
Graaskamp led Eau Claire with 25 points. Bakken scored 10 points and added eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) and Jenni LaCroix (Sr. – Verona, WI) sparked the bench, which outscored the Eagles bench 23-6. Hanley had 11 points and LaCroix had nine to go along with five assists.
The Blugolds (7-0) return to action when they travel to Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa next Saturday, Dec. 9. Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.