EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team earned a hard-fought victory Tuesday night, defeating St. Norbert College 52-51 at Zorn Arena.
The first half was a back-and-forth battle as neither team could gain more than a three-point advantage. The Green Knights held the slight edge heading into the locker room, claiming a 21-19 lead.
The Blugolds took control early in the third quarter as Anna Graaskamp (Fr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) hit a jumper to open the frame and tie the score for the fourth time. The shot sparked a 10-0 run for Eau Claire, spearheaded by Graaskamp's jumper and layup and two Hallee Hoeppner (Fr. – Winona, MN) three pointers. The run gave the Blugolds a 29-21 lead with 6:46 left in the third period.
St. Norbert wasn't done yet, however, as the eight-point lead proved to be the biggest lead of the game as the Green Knights chipped away and managed to take a one-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, 36-35.
Eau Claire came out strong again to start the final quarter, building a seven-point lead with 6:20 left, but St. Norbert fought back.
Maddie Dunathan (So. – Hortonville, WI) hit a jumper at the 3:16 mark to give the Blugolds a 49-43 lead but a three and two free throws by the Green Knights pulled them within one. After a Graaskamp free throw, St. Norbert hit a three to take the lead with 1:14 to go.
The two squads traded missed shots and the Blugolds regained possession with five seconds left and called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Dunathan drove to the hoop and was fouled with 1.7 seconds left in the game. The sophomore drained two free throws to put the Blugolds up by one.
Following a St. Norbert timeout that advanced the ball to half court, the Green Knights managed to get a layup off before the final buzzer, but they would not get the bounce as the Blugolds would take the win.
Graaskamp had a game-high 15 points and 11 rebounds in the victory while Hoeppner chipped in 13 points.
The Blugolds (2-2) will return to Zorn Wednesday night for a match-up with Edgewood College. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.