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Women's Basketball Knocks off 15th-ranked Warhawks
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team did just enough to knock off 15th-ranked UW-Whitewater 57-53 at Zorn Arena today.
The Warhawks, who came into today's game on top of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) drop to 12-4 on the season and 5-2 in the league. The Blugolds improve to 5-2 in the WIAC and 6-10 overall. Eau Claire has now won 15 straight games against the Warhawks in Zorn Arena, and is 28-1 against Whitewater in Zorn since 1988.
While the visiting team led the entire first half, the Blugolds used their strong presence down low to finish strong and secure the win. The Blugolds never let the Warhawks get up by more than four points in the first half and were within one five times.
The Blugolds came out strong in the second half, outscoring the Warhawks 9-2 over the first five minutes to take a four-point lead. Following that, the teams went back and forth, and while the Warhawks had a slight advantage most of the second, the Blugolds did just enough to secure the win. They took the lead for good with less than a minute to go.
Eau Claire did well holding the Warhawks to 53 points, as Whitewater averaged 73.4 coming into today's game. However, the Blugolds once again hurt themselves with turnovers, committing 29 to Whitewater's 12. The Warhawks converted the turnovers to 30 points.
The Blugolds also had a strong game down low, scoring 30 points in the paint to Whitewater's eight, while also winning the rebounding battle 50-27. Eau Claire also outshot Whitewater 48.6 percent (17-for-35) to 26.6 percent (17-for-64) from the floor. It was Whitewater's worst shooting performance of the year to date.
Hannah Mesick (Jr.-Chatfield, Minn.) and Ellen Plendl (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) played very well today, as each recorded double-doubles. Mesick led the game in scoring with 24 points while she pulled down 10 rebounds, and Plendl scored 14 points while finishing with a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Blugolds will be on the road for a conference matchup against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.