By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
INDIANOLA, Iowa (Blugolds.com) –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team fought back with an 18-0 run in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough in a 72-64 loss against the Simpson College Storm on the road Saturday.
The Blugolds got on the board with a jumper from Brooke Harris (So. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) and took their first lead, 5-4 on a Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) 3-pointer. Simpson ended the quarter on a 10-4 run for a 14-9 lead over the Blugolds after the first 10 minutes.
Simpson's strong defense slowed the Eau Claire offense as the Blugolds managed six, second quarter points. The Storm led the Blugolds at the half 39-15.
The Blugold shot 6-33 (18.2 percent) from the field in the first half.
Eau Claire came out of the locker room looking to fight back. The Blugold completed a 9-2 run including five from Maddie Dunathan (Fr. – Hortonville, WI) in the first three minutes of the third quarter.
The Storm pulled back up by 23 with 3:46 remaining in the period. Eau Claire cut the deficit to 16 on a basket from deep by Katelyn Morgan (Fr. – Green Bay, WI/Notre Dame) in the last moments of the third quarter.
A Caryn Donahue (So. – Rockton, IL/Hononegah) 3-pointer pulled Eau Claire to within 15 shortly into the last quarter. Then Simpson went on a 9-0 run with 7:00 left in the game, but the Blugolds wouldn't give in.
Down 23 with 6:27 still on the clock an 18-0 run, with seven points by Bakken and six from Donahue made things interesting. This made it a five-point game with 1:17 remaining, but Simpson did just enough to prevent the Blugold comeback and give Eau Claire their second straight loss.
Eau Claire shot 18-34 (52.9 percent) from the floor in the second half including 8-13 (61.5 percent) from distance. For the game, the Blugolds made 24-67 (35.8 percent) of their field goals. They also made 7-9 (77.8 percent) of their free throws in the game.
Donahue had all 12 of her points in the second half. Dunathan also added 12 points with 10 coming after the break to go along with three boards, three assists and three steals. Bakken contributed with 11 of her own while pulling down five rebounds.
Eau Claire forced Simpson into 31 turnovers and had 30 points from their bench.
The Blugolds (7-2) are back on the court Friday, Dec. 29 in Richardson, Texas against Concordia University (Texas).
Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.