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Blugolds earn wire-to-wire victory in dominant fashion over Pioneers

Photo by Jacey Teal, UWEC Photo
Photo by Jacey Teal, UWEC Photo

By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team put together a complete effort in a 75-42 win over UW-Platteville in Zorn Arena on Saturday. The Blugolds led from start to finish and received contributions up and down their lineup.

Box Score

The Blugolds jumped out to an early lead scoring 15 of the first 17 points in the game for a 15-2 lead with 3:30 left in the first quarter. Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) converted on a 3-point attempt for a 17-point advantage with 25 seconds to play in the first quarter.

The Pioneers had cut the Blugold lead to 14 points in the second quarter, but Eau Claire put together another run that gave them a significant advantage. A 13-1 run gave Eau Claire a cushion halfway through the quarter that they wouldn't relinquish.

Maddie Dunathan (Fr. – Hortonville, WI) drained a shot from deep at the buzzer for a 40-15 lead at the half. Eau Claire shot 16-37 (43.2 percent) on field goals in first two quarters, while controlling Platteville on the other side, limiting them to only seven made field goals on 23.3 percent shooting.

Out of the break, the Blugolds pushed their lead to 33 in the first two minutes on a shot from Hallee Hoeppner (So. – Winona, MN). Eau Claire led by as much as 34 and outscored Platteville in the third quarter 21-13.

It was much of the same in the final quarter as the Blugold held serve with their large lead. Hoeppner scored inside to push the Blugold advantage to 40 points with just under six minutes to play in the game.

Eau Claire never let their lead slip back under 30 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 2-0 conference record.

The Blugolds shot 30-72 (41.7 percent) from the field in the game, made 8-27 (29.6 percent) from behind the 3-point line and 7-8 (87.5) at the free-throw line.

They racked up 21 assists and forced 30 turnovers, which lead to a whopping 35 points, a distinct advantage over the 13 points off turnovers by Platteville.

The Blugold defense limited the Pioneers to only 28.3 percent from the floor and kept them off the free-throw line by limiting Platteville to only four attempts.

Hoeppner had a game-high 16 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Hanley added 13 points and five rebounds. The Blugolds showed excellent balance with six players having eight or more points.

Dunathan did a little bit of everything for Eau Claire with nine points, three rebounds, four assists and three steals. Off the bench Jenni LaCroix (Sr. – Verona, WI) had nine points, with seven coming in the first half, and Brooke Harris (So. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) added eight in a reserve role.

Not all contributions were shown in the point total as Katelyn Morgan (Fr. – Green Bay, WI/Notre Dame) didn't score but had five steals and a team-high seven rebounds to complement the balanced scoring attack.

The Blugolds (10-3, 2-0) are back on the court on Wednesday at 7 p.m. as they travel to Whitewater to face the Warhawks.

Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.






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