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2008-09 Women's Basketball Season Preview
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team is coming off a 2007-08 season where it finished tied for first place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and advanced to the NCAA post-season tournament for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
While the Blugolds return 10 letterwinners and three starters, Michelle Burns and Amanda Zenner will be hard to replace in the starting lineup. However, first team All-WIAC selection Heidi Arciszewski (Sr.-Thorp, Wis.) is back, along with WIAC All-Defense and honorable mention honoree Heather Witt (Sr.-Kendall, Wis./Royall).
A season ago Arciszewski went over the 1,000-point mark for her career and was second on the team with 396 points (13.2 ppg) and rebounds with 140 (4.7 rpg). She was also second on the team with 82 assists and 35 steals, starting in all 30 games. Arciszewski comes into the 2008-09 season with 1,003 points, ranked 14th on the Blugolds' all-time scoring list, 18th in assists with 188 and 29th in rebounds with 356.
Witt also had a big impact on last year's success. She was third on the team with 246 points (8.2 ppg) and fourth in rebounding with 114 (3.8 rpg). Witt led the WIAC with 2.37 steals per game (71 total) and in assists with 110, a 3.67 per game average. Witt, along with Missy Fremstad (Sr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild), who played in all 30 games last year and scored 108 points, will lead the Blugolds at the point-guard position.
Starting in 28 games last year as a freshman was center Hannah Mesick (So.-Chatfield, Minn.). She will help anchor the Blugolds in the middle again this year. Last season she finished with 150 points and 101 rebounds. Mesick hit half of her shots a season ago, shooting 67-for-134 from the field. Witt was the only Blugold with a better percentage at .509.
In all, the Blugolds return 51.4% of last year's scoring in addition to 47.5% of their rebounding. Four returners accumulated triple-digit point totals last year and three were in triple-digits for rebounds.
This year's team will also feature nine newcomers, including eight freshmen and one sophomore.
The season kicks off November 21 when the Blugolds travel to Ripon for the two-day Ripon College Tip-Off Tournament. After that, the Blugolds will play six out of their next seven games at Zorn Arena. The Blugolds have only lost two games in Zorn over the last two years and have not dropped a WIAC game there since January 25, 2006, going 25-2 overall and 16-0 in the WIAC. Between December 14 and January 13, the Blugolds will be on the road for five games and will play in the Otterbein Tournament in Westerville, Ohio at the end of December before playing only conference matchups the remainder of the year.
- KM -