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Hoeppner, Essen & Bakken star as Blugolds lead from start to finish

Hoeppner, Essen & Bakken star as Blugolds lead from start to finish

By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( –The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team received outstanding performances from a trio of players in a 94-62 win at UW-Stout on Wednesday night.

Box Score

The Blugolds started things quick, as Hallee Hoeppner (So. – Winona, MN) buried a triple off a pass from Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) on Eau Claire's first possession.

Katie Essen (Fr. –Farmington, MN/Rosemount) scored five points during a 7-0 run to lead 10-2 2:16 into the game. 

Eau Claire had an extended run and halfway through the first quarter the Blugolds led 17-4.

Stout responded with six points of their own over the next three minutes.

Eau Claire led 25-12 after a quarter of play. The Blugold defense held the Blue Devils to no field goals for the final three minutes and only four total in the first 10 minutes.

After an early 3-pointer by the Blue Devils, the Blugolds put together a 9-2 run to lead by 17 about halfway into the second quarter.

Stout didn't go away and miscues by Eau Claire allowed the Blue Devils back into it by halftime. With a shot made from deep with 15 seconds before the break, Stout cut into the Blugold lead.

At halftime, the Blugolds led Stout 36-27. Eau Claire shot 15-37 (40.5 percent) on field goals through the first two quarters. Essen and Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) scored 25 of the team's first 36 points.

Out of the locker room, Hoeppner helped Eau Claire extend their lead. She scored seven points in a little over two minutes into the quarter. That put the Blugolds up 43-30. Eau Claire started the third quarter with an 11-3 run to open up a 17-point advantage.

The Blugolds led by as much as 24 points and held a 68-46 heading into the final quarter. Hoeppner scored 13 points in the quarter, including three 3-pointers.

Hoeppner continued her hot shooting in the final quarter, hitting a triple on the first Eau Claire possession.

A 10-0 run by Eau Claire over a three-minute span early in the final quarter helped bury the opponent. The Blugolds controlled the remainder of the game to keep pace atop the conference standings.

Eau Claire scored 58 points in the second half on 66.7 percent shooting from the floor.

For the game, Eau Claire shot 30-73 (53.4 percent) from the field, made 7-23 (30.4 percent) from deep and 9-15 (60 percent) at the line.

The Blugolds had 21 assists and out-rebounded Stout 44-30. They also forced 25 turnovers.

Hoeppner, Essen and Bakken combined for 23 of 32 shooting to lead Eau Claire.

Hoeppner scored 16 points in the second half and her 21 points for the game led all scorers. She also knocked down five 3-pointers. Essen scored a career-high with 19 points and grabbed six rebounds.

Bakken was extremely efficient while also setting a career-high with 18 points. Bakken's 8 of 8 shooting performance trails only Arlene Meinholz (13 of 13) in 1993 and Jayme Anderson (10 of 10) in 1998 in the Blugolds record book for field goal percentage in a game. Bakken also added a game-high eight rebounds.

The Blugolds' leading scorer on the season, Anna Graaskamp (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial), made her return to the lineup after missing the past six games and scored eight points.

The Blugolds (12-4, 4-1) travel to Oshkosh for a 3 p.m. game on Saturday.

Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.









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