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Women's Basketball Unable to get Past Duluth
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team fell to NCAA Division II opponent University of Minnesota-Duluth 53-44 today at Zorn Arena.
While Eau Claire (3-8) got on the board first, Duluth (7-3) took its first lead of the game just three minutes in and would never give it up. The Blugolds stuck with the Bulldogs the entire first half, never getting down by more than seven.
In the first half, Eau Claire went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc to help stay on the Bulldogs' heels, but hit just four other shots the entire half to end with 20 points. Duluth took a six-point lead into the locker room.
Eau Claire got to within three points in the second five minutes into the half, but the Bulldogs then used a 14-4 run over the next four minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 13 points. Eau Claire closed the gap to six before Duluth went back up by 13 again and the closest Eau Claire could get the rest of the way was seven.
The Blugolds outshot Duluth 40 percent (16-for-40) to 34.5 percent (20-for-85) from the floor but committed 27 turnovers to Duluth's 12. The Bulldogs scored 28 points off turnovers while Eau Claire scored just 15. Down low, the Blugolds won the battle of the boards as they grabbed 34 to Duluth's 30.
Sarah Bingea (Fr.-Delano, Minn.) led Eau Claire with 12 points and was 6-for-6 from the free throw line, while Hannah Mesick (Jr.-Chatfield, Minn.) added nine points. Ellen Plendl (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) finished with a team-high eight rebounds and Mesick pulled down six.
The Blugolds will now head out to Tacoma, Washington for two games. They will face the University of Puget Sound on Tuesday and will wrap up the trip with a game at Pacific Lutheran on Wednesday. Both games are slated to begin at 8 p.m. Central (6 p.m. Pacific).