By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
The Blugolds would start fast leading 8-3 just two and one-half minutes into the game with three pointers from Kayla Hanley (Jr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) and Maddie Dunathan (So. – Hortonville, WI). Stout would claw back and take the lead, but Dunathan would connect again from deep with 5:21 in the first period for a 13-11 Eau Claire advantage. Bree Meier (Sr. – Lakeville, MN/South) would cap off an 8-0 run with the team's fourth from distance to end the quarter leading 18-11.
Dunathan would continue her hot shooting opening the second period with a three on the first Blugold possession. It would go back in forth the rest of the period as the Blugolds ended the half leading 33-28. Eau Claire made five threes in the first half and shot 14-37 (37.8 percent) from the field. Dunathan had nine points and four assists at the break.
The three pointers continued to fall for the Blugolds as Hallee Hoeppner (Fr. – Winona, MN) opened up the scoring in the third quarter. The Blue Devils had closed within two with 6:43 in the third when Hoeppner knocked down another from behind the arc.
With 3:20 left in the quarter a Blue Devil three gave Stout a 42-41 lead. But the Blugolds would close out the period strong taking a 50-46 advantage into the final quarter of play. Dunathan would hit two threes on back-to-back possessions that gave Eau Claire a 62-53 lead with just over six minutes to play. Stout would pull within three on two different occasions but the Blugolds would close things out at the free throw line for the 74-68 victory.
For the game Eau Claire shot 29-65 (44.6 percent) from the floor and make 11-24 (45.8 percent) from distance. The Blugolds had 17 second chance points and got 21 points from the bench.
Dunathan led the team with a career-high 21 points on six made threes while adding five assists and no turnovers. Hanley and Arien Brennan (Sr. – Hayward, WI) each had double-doubles. Hanley had 11 points and 10 rebounds and Brennan with 11 points and 11 boards along with five assists. Hoeppner collected 13 points as four of the five starters were in double figures. In 16 minutes off the bench, Elly Boles (Jr. – Prescott, WI) notched eight points, three rebounds and four blocks.
The Blugolds (8-8, 2-3) return to action on Saturday taking on UW-Stevens Point in Zorn Arena at 5 p.m.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.