EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Five Blugolds scored in double figures as the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team defeated UW-Whitewater 85-58 to improve to 2-0 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play on Saturday night.
The Blugolds jumped out to an early lead in the first half, outscoring the Warhawks 21-12 in the first quarter and 17-13 in the second to take a 38-15 lead into the locker room. Eau Claire held Whitewater to a dismal 15.4 percent (2-13) from the field in the first quarter and 38.5 (5-for-13) percent in the second. The Blugolds, on the other hand, shot 50 percent (7-for-14) in the first and 41.7 percent (5-for-12) in the second.
The Warhawks challenged the Blugolds in the third quarter but Eau Claire would dominate the fourth, outscoring Whitewater 30-12 in the final frame to earn the 27-point victory.
Kelsey Bakken (Jr. – Marshall, WI) led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, also a game-high. Katie Essen (So. – Farmington, MN/Rosemount) and Hallee Hoeppner (Jr. – Winona, MN) followed with 19 and 18 points apiece, while Maddie Dunathan (Sr. – Hortonville, WI) tallied 14 points and Brooke Harris (Jr. – Green Bay, WI/Bay Port) chipped in 10 to go along with nine rebounds. Dunathan also racked up nine assists, six rebounds and four steals on the night.
The Blugolds finished the game hitting 30-of-58 from the field (51.7 percent) and connected on 23-of-27 free throws (85.2 percent). Whitewater was 20-of-63 from the field (31.7 percent) and shot 85.7 percent from the line. Both teams struggled from beyond the arc, as the Warhawks were 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) and the Blugolds 2-of-10 (20 percent). Eau Claire out-rebounded Whitewater 43-20 and double them up on points in the paint, 40-20.
The Blugolds (11-2, 2-0 WIAC) will play their first WIAC game on the road on Wednesday as they travel to take on UW-La Crosse (12-1, 1-1) at 7 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.