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Slow start hampers Blugolds as comeback falls short versus Stevens Point

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

By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information

STEVENS POINT, Wis. ( – After battling back from an early deficit, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball could not complete the comeback, as they were defeated 85-76 on the road to the UW-Stevens Point Pointers.

Box Score

Stevens Point jumped out to a quick lead as they made two 3-pointers in only three possessions. Eau Claire tied things at six a little over two minutes into the game.

The Pointers then went on a 10-0 run, which included two more buckets from deep.

Kelsey Bakken (So. – Marshall, WI) ended the scoring drought for the Blugolds with two free throws.

Down by five with 2:38 remaining in the quarter, Eau Claire couldn't contain the hot shooting from Stevens Point. The Pointers outscored the Blugolds 11-3 to end the quarter. Eau Claire trailed 27-14 after the first frame.

Two scores by Brooke Harris (So. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) and another from Katie Essen (Fr. –Farmington, MN/Rosemount) cut the Blugold deficit to eight points after three minutes of the second quarter.

Stevens Point answered with a 3-pointer and they kept the advantage greater than two scores until late in half, Jenni LaCroix (Sr. – Verona, WI) found the bottom of the net from deep. This made it a four point game with 55 seconds left before the break.

Once again, the Pointer buried a triple to fight off the Blugolds comeback and at the half Stevens Point led 43-36. Eau Claire received 13 points from their bench in the quarter.

After cutting the deficit to five after a Kayla Hanley (Sr. – Chippewa Falls, WI) score, Stevens Point went on a 5-0 run that include another basket from beyond the arc.

Trailing by double digits again, the Blugold needed a run. Five players scored as Eau Claire manage 11 straight points to give themselves their first lead of the game. The run was capped off with Hallee Hoeppner (So. – Winona, MN) drilling a shot from distance for the one point advantage with a slightly over a minute left in the quarter.

At the end of three quarters of play, Eau Claire was up 53-52.

Stevens Point made their first three shots from the field to open the final quarter. This put them back on top 59-53. Eau Claire couldn't make it a one-possession game until La Croix made another 3-point shot.

Two minutes later the deficit remained steady. The Pointers opened it up again making another 3-pointer. The Blugolds trailed by six with just 2:41 left in the game.

Strong free throw shooting from Stevens Point over the final two minutes made a comeback from Eau Claire too difficult. The Pointers made 11 of their final 12 shots from the line and knocked off the Blugolds in the final game of the regular season.

For the game the Blugolds shot 25 of 62 (40.3 percent) from the floor, 3 of 11 (27.3 percent) from deep and 23 of 29 (79.3 percent) at the line.

The Blugolds assisted on 19 of their 25 made field goals and only committed eight turnovers compared to the 17 they forced.

Essen put together a career game off the bench, tallying 25 points to lead the team. LaCroix added 11 points, including two triples. Bakken led the team with nine rebounds to go along with five steals and six points.

The Blugolds regular season stands at 17-8 overall and 9-5 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play. They will open the WIAC tournament with a home game on Tuesday.  

Follow the action this season on Blugold Game Day.

















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