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Women's Basketball Wins Thanksgiving Showcase
Posted: Saturday, November 27, 2004
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team started on a 15-2 run and never looked back in topping St. Catherine (MN) 89-56 to earn the Thanksgiving Showcase Tournament Championship here tonight at W.L. Zorn Arena.
The Blugolds improve to a perfect 5-0 on the season and begin conference action this Wednesday. The Wildcats fall to 2-1 on the season.
Eau Claire's fast start in the championship game was helped by early three-pointers from Jessica Dickey (Sr.-White Bear Lake, MN/Cretin-Derham Hall) and Katie Murphy (Sr.-La Crosse/Aquinas). The Blugolds slowly added to the lead throughout the half, with the Wildcats never cutting the deficit to single digits. Eau Claire held a hefty 21-point lead heading into the locker room at halftime, winning by a score of 47-26.
The Blugolds continued to dominate in the second half, building to lead to as much as 38 points. The Wildcats scored the final four points of the game but Eau Claire claimed the 2004 Eau Claire Thanksgiving Showcase championship game by a score of 89-56.
Michelle Burns (Fr.-Eau Claire/North) led the way to the victory, totaling a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. She was 6-of-8 from the floor while also tallying four assists. Dickey and Joanna Leafblad (Sr.-Eau Claire/Memorial) each scored 11 points in the win. Dickey also grabbed five rebounds while totaling three assists and three steals.
Natalie Lyzhoft was the only Wildcat to reach double-digit points, totaling 12 in the loss.
The Blugolds out-rebounded St. Catherine by a wide margin, grabbing 45 rebounds to the Wildcats' 29. Eau Claire also forced 23 Wildcat turnovers with the help of 13 steals.
Both teams were hot from behind the three-point arc, as the Blugolds hit 9-of-20 (45 percent) and the Wildcats made 4-of-9 (44.4 percent) from downtown.
In the third place game, Wisconsin Lutheran defeated Concordia (IL) 56-46 behind a 14-point effort from Jackie Endsley. Erin Hilleshiem tallied 13 points and five rebounds while Emily Laete finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in the win. Atoi Sinclair had an incredible night in a losing effort for Concordia, putting up 22 points and 18 rebounds.
At the conclusion of the tournament, Eau Claire's Rachel Becker (Jr.-Gilmanton) was named the Thanksgiving Showcase Most Valuable Player. Becker finished the tourney with 16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and six steals. Two other Blugolds were named the All-Tournament Team, as Dickey and Burns earned the honors. Lyzhoft and Kate Bremmer made the team for St. Catherine while Sinclair won a spot on the team for Concordia.
The Blugolds will be back in action this Wednesday when they travel to UW-Superior for the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener. The game is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.
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