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Women's Basketball Victorious in Conference Opener
By: Ashley Hofer, Sports Information Student
OSHKOSH, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - Led by Hannah Mesick's (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) double-double, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team notched its first WIAC win of the season in a 64-52 victory over UW-Oshkosh.
Eau Claire opened up the game by scoring 11 unanswered points, all from the duo of Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) and Ellen Plendl (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell). Though a free throw got the Titans on the board 4:30 into the game, nearly six more minutes passed before the Titans completed a shot from the field. As Oshkosh struggled to find the basket, the Blugolds continued to rack up the points and carried a 35-15 lead by the end of the first period.
A jumper by Sarah Bingea (So.-Delano, Minn.) 1:57 into the second half pushed the Blugolds to the game-high lead of 25 points, but the scoring soon came to a halt for both teams. Before the middle of the half, the score remained unchanged for a total of 5:06 minutes.
After the deadlock, Oshkosh - powered by 13 more successful free throws - slowly cut into the Eau Claire lead. However, time expired before the Titans could pull within single digits and the Blugolds won the game with a final result of 64-52.
Mesick earned a double-double on the night, scoring a game-high 17 points and making 10 rebounds, also a top figure for the game. Plendl nearly achieved the double-double as well, recording 16 points and nine rebounds.
The Blugolds dominated the Titans in shooting percentage, nailing 53.1 percent of their shots (26 of 49). Oshkosh shot just 11.5 percent (3 of 26) in the first half, but improved slightly for an overall 22.4 percent (13 of 58). In total, the Titans earned 46.2 percent of their points from free throws compared to 14 percent for Eau Claire.
With the win, the Blugolds improve to 4-2 on the season and an undefeated 1-0 in the WIAC. The Blugolds will follow up the conference victory with another WIAC game at home this weekend. Eau Claire will host UW-La Crosse at 5 p.m. this Saturday.