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Women's Basketball Ends Whitewater Streak
Posted: Saturday, January 12, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team ended UW-Whitewater's unbeaten streak at 14 with a 63-60 triumph over the No. 2-ranked Warhawks in the W. L. Zorn Arena Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Blugolds remained the only unbeaten team in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a 5-0 mark while Whitewater fell to 5-1 in the league and to 14-1 on the season. The Blugolds, who were the preseason favorite in the WIAC by the conference sports information directors, are now 11-3 for the season.
In a game that saw a freshman help Eau Claire build a 12-point lead early in the second half only to have Whitewater rally back for a seven-point advantage with 5:28 to go in the contest, it was two veteran Blugold players who provided the scoring differential down the stretch.
Senior Michelle Burns (Eau Claire/North) and junior Missy Fremstad (Osseo/Osseo-Fairchild) accounted for the final 17 Blugold points as the Blugolds erased a 52-45 deficit to gain the win. Six-foot-two freshman Hannah Mesick (Chatfield, MN) led all scorers with 16, getting eight in each half as the Blugolds built a 29-19 lead at intermission and increased it to 33-21 less than two minutes into the second half.
Zorn Arena has been a difficult place for the Warhawks to play over the years as they have not won there since February 21, 1987. The Blugolds were unbeaten at home during the 2006-07 season but were playing only their fifth home game of the current campaign, having lost one non-conference game to the University of Chicago, a team Whitewater beat by a 62-53 margin.
Whitewater was cold from the floor, hitting just 34.8 percent from the field and the Blugolds were not giving the Warhawks many second chances as they controlled the boards by a 43-31 margin. Whitewater's pressure defense forced 23 Blugold turnovers while the Warhawks committed just 11 miscues. Eau Claire shot 46 percent from the field.
Both teams missed chances to affect the outcome from the free throw line in the final minutes. Eau Claire missed two free throws with a two-point lead and 19 seconds to go. Then after Whitewater missed one of two with eight seconds remaining, Eau Claire missed two more free throws with five seconds left. Whitewater rebounded after the second miss but promptly turned the ball over. Fremstad was fouled on the Blugolds' inbounds attempt with 0:00.8 remaining and made both charity tosses to account for the final three-point differential.
Besides Mesick's 16, Burns was the only other Blugold to reach double figures for the game, finishing with 13. Whitewater was led by Kelsey Hendrickson and Lindsey Buechner, both of whom tallied 11.
The two teams are scheduled for their rematch February 2 in Whitewater.
- TP -