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Women's Basketball Ready For WIAC Semifinals
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team is preparing for their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) tournament semifinal matchup with UW-Stout on Thursday.
The Blugolds are the top seed in the tournament and the Blue Devils are the fourth seed. The Blugolds and the Blue Devils finished their regular season against each other. The Blugolds pulled out the win at Zorn Arena last Saturday, 77-74. The Blugolds have beaten the Blue Devils both times this year. The Blugolds are coming off a WIAC quarterfinal victory over River Falls, 73-43. The Blue Devils had a close game with UW-La Crosse, but came out with the 65-63 overtime victory.
On December 1st the Blugolds traveled to Menomonie and pulled out the 70-59 win. The Blugolds were down early in the first half, but Heidi Arciszewski (Jr.-Thorp, WI) and Heather Witt (Jr.-Kendall, WI/Royall) took over and combined for 20 points. The Blugolds would go into halftime with a 12 point lead. Stout came out in the second half and scored six straight points before the Blugolds answered with a Rachel Mueggenborg (Sr.-West Salem, WI) jumper. Stout would get the lead down to four with 16:20 left to play. Kali Houselog (Sr.-Neenah, WI/St. Mary Central) came off the bench and gave the Blugolds five points that would help in getting the lead back up to 10. The Blugolds would maintain the lead for the 70-59 win. Witt led all scorers with 22, going 4-5 from three point range. Arciszewski had 12 points and Michelle Burns (Sr.-Eau Claire, WI/North) had 10. Stout was led by Julia Hirssig's 17 points.
Last Saturday these two teams met up again and the Blugolds pulled out the 77-74 win to finish the season as a WIAC Co-Champion. Stout started the game with an eight point lead, but the Blugolds fought back and regained the lead with a Burns' jumper. The first half would be close with the game being tied five times in the first half. Stout would take the lead into halftime, 42-40. The Blugolds would go on a run to get the lead to 11 off a Arciszewski three pointer with 11:45 left to play. Stout then went on a run of its own and would get the Blugold lead to one, but Witt had a big three with 52 seconds to get the lead to five. Stout's Lindsey Geissler made a three with four seconds left to cut the Blugold lead to one, but Arciszewski had two free throws with one second left for the 77-74 win. Arciszewski had 30 points and Burns had 22 points. Hirssig had 18 to lead Stout.
Burns lead the team in scoring averaging 14.2 points per game, and Arciszewski is right behind averaging 13.8 points per game. Hirssig leads the WIAC in scoring (15.9 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg).
This game is set to tip-off at 7 p.m. at Zorn Arena on Thursday.