By Travis Nyhus, UWEC Sports Information
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team got their second straight home conference win with a 72-65 victory over UW-Platteville Wednesday night.
Inside scores on consecutive possessions by Anna Graaskamp (Fr. – Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) and Hallee Hoeppner (Fr. – Winona, MN) gave Eau Claire a 10-7 lead with a little more than four minutes remaining in the first period.
Bree Meier (Sr. – Lakeville, MN/South) sank a three pointer with under a minute left in the quarter that gave the Blugolds a 21-18 lead. Eau Claire outscored Platteville in the paint during the first period 8-0.
The second quarter was when the Blugolds started to assert themselves. Jenni LaCroix (Jr. – Verona, WI) banged in a triple just a minute in and Graaskamp connected on two shots inside.
Midway through the quarter, the Blugolds still remained in front by six. A quick burst by the offense and shutdown defense gave the Blugolds a comfortable lead at the intermission. LaCroix found the bottom of the net with 1:30 remaining and Maddie Dunathan (So. – Hortonville, WI) scored just before the buzzer giving Eau Claire a 38-24 lead. The Pioneers only managed six second quarter points against the Blugold defense.
The Pioneers would make their run in the third. With 5:42 in left in the third period, Eau Claire still maintained a six-point advantage despite a trio of triples by Platteville's Kassie Hansen.
Two buckets by Alleah Voigt (Sr. – Neillsville, WI) in the final 2:40 of the quarter helped keep the Blugolds ahead 52-45 with one period remaining.
Meier pushed Eau Claire back up 10 with a long jumper and a three-point bucket in the quarter's first minute. A short 6-0 run pulled Platteville back within three but Dunathan found the range from behind the arc shortly after.
Graaskamp would respond with a clutch jumper when the Pioneers got back to within three with 3:28 remaining. That was as close as they would get, as LaCroix and Meier were key down the stretch. They would score the last eight points for the Blugolds, including going 6-6 from the line in the final minute.
The Blugolds shot 28-58 (48.3 percent) from the field for the game and 11-16 from the free throw line. The bench stepped up in this one outscoring Platteville's bench 30-9.
Meier and LaCroix each had 14 points off the bench. Graaskamp had a game high 17 points and added 12 rebounds. Arien Brennan (Sr. – Hayward, WI) also did solid work on the glass collecting 10 boards while totaling 12 points.
The Blugolds (12-10, 6-5) return to action on Saturday when they travel to take on UW-La Crosse.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.