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Women's Basketball Falls To Stevens Point In WIAC Tournament Championship
Posted: Saturday, March 1, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team was defeated today in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) tournament championship game by UW-Stevens Point, 62-50.
With the win, the Pointers receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament next week. This is the Pointers second WIAC tournament championship after winning in 2004. It was the first time a number one seed lost in the WIAC tournament. The Blugolds are now hoping for one of 20 at-large births for the NCAA tournament. The Blugolds did share the WIAC championship with UW-Whitewater and have a 22-6 record.
Turnovers killed the Blugolds in the end. In the last four minutes of the game the Blugolds turned the ball over five times and did not score a point. Meanwhile the Pointers attempted 10 free throws making eight of them and also got a Jessi Sporle jumper that led to the Pointers winning 62-50.
The Pointers got on the board first at the beginning of the game with a Chelsey Kranz layup. Michelle Burns (Sr.-Eau Claire, WI/North) answered with an old fashioned three point play. Heidi Arciszewski (Jr.-Thorp, WI) added a jumper after a sweet drive to the basket. Ashley Anderson (Jr.-Oakdale, MN/North St. Paul) then came off the bench and was big for the Blugolds. Anderson scored six straight points to get the Blugolds lead to four. Anderson again would have a layup at the 10 minute mark that would get the lead to six. The Blugolds then had three turnovers and the Pointers got the score to 17-16 with the Blugold advantage. Heather Witt (Jr.-Kendall, WI/Royall) had a big three pointer with 6:16 left in the half to keep a four point lead, but the Blugolds would only score five more points in the half. Sporle had two free throws to tie the game with 4:42 left in the half. Haley Houghton then had a jumper and three pointer, and Ali Nicastro had a layup. The Blugolds would have a Witt jumper with two seconds left to close the half with the Pointers leading 27-25.
The Blugolds came out with an Amanda Zenner (Sr.-Medford, WI) three pointer and Witt layup to get the deficit to one, but the game would remain close. Zenner had a jumper at the 13:08 mark to take the 36-35 lead. Both teams traded baskets until Kranz had a layup with 7:20 left to take a three point lead. Anderson had the last Blugold point of the night off a free throw with 3:52 left in the game, and the rest of the game would be turnovers. The Pointers made their free throws down the stretch for the 62-50 win.
The Blugolds shot 40 percent from the field, 27 percent from three point range, and 40 percent from the free throw line. The Pointers shot 39 percent from the field, 18 percent from three point distance, and 87 percent from the free throw line. The Pointers attempted 23 free throws compared to the Blugolds 10 attempts, and the Blugolds had eight more fouls than the Pointers. The Blugolds also had 18 turnovers compared to the Pointers' 10.
Kranz led all scorers with 15 points and went 7-9 from the free throw line. Houghton had 13 points and went 8-8 from the free throw line. Sporle had 10 points and seven rebounds. Zenner led the Blugolds with 14 points and five rebounds. Anderson had 11 points off the bench.
The announcement of the 63-team NCAA Division III Tournament field and the first and second round sites will be made on Monday.