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Women's Basketball Picks up First Win of Season
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team picked up its first win of the season as it defeated Carleton College (Minn.) 68-54 in the third place game of the UW-Eau Claire Thanksgiving Showcase in Zorn Arena today.
The Blugolds (1-3) trailed just once, while the score was tied one other time, early in the game. Eau Claire held Carleton to just four points for almost the first five minutes and the Blugolds used a 6-0 early on to build a 10-4 lead.
The Knights (0-3) had a hard time stopping the Blugolds down low as Eau Claire scored 18 of its 30 points in the paint in the first half. That included a seven-minute stretch that lasted from 14:21 to 7:19 where the Blugolds recorded 12 points alone. Eau Claire also came away with 20 of its 35 rebounds in the first while Carleton had just nine of its 22.
By the end of the half, the Blugolds had a double-digit lead and Carleton would never be able to close the gap to single-digits the rest of the way. Eau Claire reached its largest lead of the game, 20 points, with 4:15 remaining in the contest. The closest the Knights were able to get after the first half was 10 points at the 18:18 mark.
The Blugolds shot 51.8 percent (29-for-56) from the floor while Carleton was 19-for-47 (40.4 percent). Eau Claire took just five free throws tonight and hit four of them while Carleton was 8-for-11. The teams were even on turnovers with 16 apiece.
Hannah Mesick (Jr.-Chatfield, Minn.), who was named to the All-Tournament team, led three Blugolds in double-figures with 16 points. Laura Olson (So.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) added 13 points and Ellen Plendl (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) finished with a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Olson also picked up a game-high seven assists.
Eau Claire is now 4-0 all-time against the Knights. The last time the teams met was in the first round of NCAA Division III Tournament in Indianola, Iowa at Simpson College on March 7, 2008. The Blugolds came away with a 61-52 victory in that contest.
Next week, the Blugolds will be at home three more times before hitting the road the following week. Eau Claire will start the three-game home stand Monday with a game against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) at 7 p.m. The Blugolds will then open conference play against UW-Oshkosh at 7 p.m. Wednesday for student appreciation night.