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Olson Scores Career-High as Blugolds Upset UW-Stevens Point
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team, led by Laura Olson (So.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild), never trailed the entire night in an 80-67 victory over 20th-ranked UW-Stevens Point at Zorn Arena tonight.
Olson hit three three-pointers in each half as she went 6-for-10 from beyond the arc for the game. Along with shooting 9-for-12 from the free throw line, she scored a career and game-high 29 points. It was the second time she led the Blugolds this season, the last time coming on January 6 in a 70-38 win at UW-Platteville.
The Blugolds, who last beat the Pointers on November 29, 2008, held the lead the entire way this evening. Eau Claire held Stevens Point scoreless for more than the first three minutes and built an early 6-0 lead.
Eau Claire missed only seven shots the entire first half, going 16-for-23 (69.6 percent) from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. They built a 22-point lead at one time in the first and held a 10-point margin at half time.
The Blugolds came out strong in the second half and opened on a 6-2 run. The Pointers were never able to close the gap to single-digits again and Eau Claire found itself back up by 20 just nine minutes into the second half. The closest Stevens Point would get the rest of the way was 11 points.
Eau Claire went 56.8 percent from the floor (25-for44), the third best mark the Blugolds have achieved this season. Stevens Point shot 44.8 percent (26-for-58). The Blugolds also hit seven three-pointers in 12 attempts (58.3 percent).
Down low, Eau Claire pulled down 33 rebounds to Stevens Point's 22. Hannah Mesick (Jr.-Chatfield, Minn.) and Ellen Plendl (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) each finished with 10 rebounds to lead the game. Either Mesick or Plendl has led the Blugolds in rebounding in all but one game this season.
Mesick also had five assists along with Jodi Lindner (Sr.-Neillsville, Wis.). Plendl, who ranks third in the conference in blocked shots, had two blocks tonight.
Eau Claire improves to 8-14 on the season and 7-6 in WIAC play. Stevens Point drops to 9-4 in the WIAC and 17-5 overall.
Up next, Eau Claire will travel to UW-Whitewater to face the Warhawks at 3 p.m. Saturday.