By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team had a fourth quarter lead slip away in Zorn Area Wednesday night as they fell to UW-La Crosse 64-55.
Maddie Dunathan (So. – Hortonville, WI) got things going early for the Blugolds, knocking down a free throw on the Blugolds first possession and then by hitting a three on the next to give her team a quick 4-3 lead. La Crosse then went on a run, scoring 10-straight including back-to-back three-point shots.
Bree Meier (Sr. – Lakeville, MN/South) would come off the bench to end the run with a shot from behind the arc that sparked an 8-0 run by the Blugolds that narrowed the score to 13-12 with 2:28 remaining in the first period. The period ended with the Eagles holding a 17-14 advantage over the Blugolds.
Dunathan's third three pointer of the game came with 8:39 left in the second period and gave the Blugolds an 18-17 lead. The teams would go back in forth the remainder of the quarter with the Blugolds outscoring the Eagles 17-13 in the period and headed to the locker room leading 31-30.
Dunathan had a big first half with 12 points including 3-3 from deep. Alleah Voigt (Sr. – Neilsville, WI) replaced leading scorer Anna Graaskamp (Fr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) - out due to injury - in the starting lineup and chipped in five points and four rebounds in the half.
Eau Claire shot 12-27(44.4 percent) from the field in the first half and made 4-9 (42.9 percent) of shots from deep. The Blugolds also scored 12 points off La Crosse turnovers.
The Blugolds strong defensive play from the second period continued into the second half, which led to a 7-0 run to lead 38-30. La Crosse wouldn't get on the board in the second half until a free throw with 5:49 left in the third.
The Eagles battled back from that deficit, but the Blugolds still had the lead 44-42 at the end of the third period.
La Crosse started quick in the fourth quarter on a 7-2 run to take over the lead 49-46. The Eagles would outscore the Blugolds 22-11 in the fourth quarter thanks in part to hitting 23 of 24 free throws in the second half.
Eau Claire ended the game 19-52 (36.5 percent) on field goals. They made 5-21 (23.8 percent) of their three pointers and 12-19 (63.2 percent) on free throws.
Dunathan and Voigt led the team with 12 points apiece. Voigt also added five rebounds, while Arien Brennan (Sr. – Hayward, WI) filled the box score with six points, seven rebounds and three steals while Meier had eight points off the bench.
Eau Claire had 20 points off the 15 La Crosse turnovers they forced. The Blugolds also got 14 points from their bench.
The Blugolds (7-7, 1-2) are back in action on Saturday at UW-Oshkosh starting at 3 p.m.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.