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Bakken and Graaskamp lead Blugolds in win over River Falls

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 had four starters in double figures as they defeated the UW-River Falls Falcons 72-60 on Wednesday night in Zorn Arena on senior night.

Box Score

It was a poor start from Eau Claire as they fell behind 10-0 through the first three minutes.

They quickly erased the early deficit with nine straight points with five points coming from Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) and four from Anna Graaskamp (So. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial).

The Blugolds took their first lead of the game as Katie Essen (Fr. –Farmington, MN/Rosemount) got into the scoring column with about three minutes remaining in the first quarter.

A 3-pointer late in the quarter allowed River Falls to go ahead 22-20 as the first quarter ran out.

Forced turnovers on three straight possessions by Eau Claire gave the Blugolds three quick buckets and a 31-25 advantage a little more than two minutes into the second quarter. This was all part of a 9-0 run from the Blugolds.

The Falcons battled right back and the Blugolds lead dropped to two points. A three-point play and a score as timed expired in the half, both from Graaskamp, gave Eau Claire their biggest lead of the game, 41-34 at the break.

Two triples from River Falls out of the locker tied things back up over the first three and half minutes.

Eau Claire responded with 10 points in a row including threes from Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) and Hallee Hoeppner (So. – Winona, MN).

At the end of the third quarter the Blugolds led 55-46.

Over the first half of the quarter the Blugold held steady to their lead until River Falls completed a three-point play to narrow the margin to five.

The Blugold advantage dropped to four with under three minutes to play, but Jenni LaCroix (Sr. – Verona, WI) buried a triple to all but end it. Eau Claire made all six of their free throws to close things out.

The Blugolds shot 27 of 61 (44.3 percent) from the field in the game, 7 of 25 (28 percent) from deep and 11 of 14 (78.6 percent) at the line.

Eau Claire recorded 16 assists and scored 26 points from the 20 turnovers they forced.

Bakken led the way with 21 points, eight rebounds, four steals and three assists while Graaskamp added 19 points.

Hoeppner had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. LaCroix joined them in double digits with 10 points.

The Blugolds (17-7, 9-4) conclude their regular season with a trip to Stevens Point on Saturday with tipoff scheduled for 3 p.m.

Follow the action on Blugold Game Day.
















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