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Women Blugolds To Play Blue Devils In Semis
Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2005
EAU CLAIRE - The fifth-seeded UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team look to make it two out of three over UW-Stout when it plays the top-seeded Blue Devils in the semifinals of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Wednesday at Johnson Fieldhouse.
The Blugolds advanced to the second round after becoming the first five seed to win a game in the WIAC Tournament. Eau Claire defeated fourth-seeded UW-River Falls 62-43 Monday. Stout held off eighth-seeded UW-La Crosse 73-66 to advance.
This will be the fourth time these two teams have met in the seven-year history of the conference tournament. Eau Claire holds a 2-1 edge winning in 2000 and 2003 while Stout won in 2002.
Eau Claire and Stout split the regular season series with each team winning on its home turf. The Blugolds fell in the season's first matchup 75-58 but won the second game 55-47 to move their lifetime record to 39-18.
The Blugold offense struggled in the loss in Menomonie shooting a season-low 28.3 percent from the field. Eau Claire hit eight of its first nine shots but lost its rhythm hitting only 9 of their final 51 shots. Rachel Becker (Jr.-Gilmanton) led the Blugolds with 16 points while Katie Murphy (Sr.-La Crosse/Aquinas) added 14.
The Eau Claire offense wasn't much better in the rematch but the defense stepped up the intensity. The Blugold defense held Stout to a season-low 47 points on a season-low 25 percent shooting. Becker, Emilee Planert (Sr.-Eau Claire/North) and Michelle Burns (Fr.-Eau Claire/North) shared Blugold scoring honors with 10 a piece.
Jessica Dickey (Sr.-White Bear Lake, MN/Cretin-Derham Hall) leads Eau Claire in scoring and is eighth in the WIAC at 12.2 points a game. Burns is second on the team at 10.8 a game followed by Becker at 10.2 per game. Burns leads the Blugolds and is fourth in the conference with 6.9 rebounds a game while Becker leads the conference in assists at 5.2 a game.
Stout has the top scoring offense in the conference led by Kelsey Duoss at 13.1 points per game. Lindsey Erichsen is second on the Blue Devils at 11.6 a game. Duoss is first in the conference in field goal percentage at 54.5 percent, first in blocks with three a game and third in rebounding at 7.5 boards a game. Erin Churchill leads Stout in assists with nearly 3.4 a game.
The winner of the game will go on to play the winner of the Stevens Point-Oshkosh game. The second-seeded Pointers won both meetings with the third-seeded Titans this year.
The Eau Claire-Stout rivalry continues tomorrow with tip-off scheduled for 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the in the W. R. Davies Center.
- JL -