By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team used a 26-0 first half run to bury UW-River Falls Falcons 86-52 on the road on Wednesday night.
Three minutes into the game the scored was tied at two, but then the Blugolds took control. During a 20-0 run that lasted the remainder of the quarter, Eau Claire forced ten straight misses from the field by River Falls.
Anna Graaskamp (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) kept the run going into the second quarter with an early bucket.
It took another four minutes into the second quarter for the lid to come off the basket for River Falls. By that time Eau Claire was up 28-4.
A bucket by Katie Essen (Fr. –Farmington, MN/Rosemount) about half way through the second quarter had the Blugolds leading 32-5. River Falls went on a little 6-0 run, but the Blugolds still held onto their commanding lead into the locker room.
At the break, Eau Claire had a 45-17 advantage. The Blugolds shot 18 of 38 (47.4 percent) from the field and held River Falls to just 6 of 31 (19.4 percent) shooting.
Graaskamp scored on the first possession for Eau Claire to start third quarter giving them a 30-point lead. Eau Claire held serve in the third quarter and headed into the fourth up 62-33.
In the fourth the Blugolds had their largest lead as Caryn Donahue (So. – Rockton, IL/Hononegah) buried a triple late in the game for the 34-point advantage, which turned out to be the final margin.
The important road win helped the Blugolds keep pace atop the conference standing with five teams tied with five wins.
For the game the Blugolds shot 34 of 65 (52.3 percent) on field goals, 7 of 15 (46.7 percent) from deep and 11 of 16 (68.8 percent) at the line.
Eau Claire held River Falls to 31.7 percent shooting for the game.
The Blugolds owned a sizeable rebounding margin, leading 44-33 in the battle on the boards. Eau Claire recorded 19 assists and forced the Falcons into 20 turnovers.
Bakken led the way for the Blugolds with a career-high 25 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Graaskamp scored 18 points and secured seven rebounds.
Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) chipped in 12 and Hoeppner and Essen reached double figures with 10 apiece.
The Blugolds (13-5, 5-2) return to Zorn Arena following their three game road trip. They will look to avenge a loss earlier this season as they face UW-Whitewater at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.