Team gets back to winning ways

The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball regained its stride with a win over UW-River Falls, 60-50, at Zorn Arena on Wednesday night. The win followed the team’s first WIAC loss of the season last Saturday against UW-La Crosse.

Coach Tonja Englund said her team was looking for a strong performance coming back from the La Crosse game, especially since it followed the team’s recent win over a nationally ranked UW-Stout team.

“It was disappointing to go down there and play the way that we did because we were starting to play really good basketball,” Englund said. “(But) a win’s a win. And anytime that we have three people in double figures, you like to see that it’s a team win.”

River Falls made things interesting early on by scoring the game’s first five points. After regrouping, the Blugolds were able to regain their focus and went on a 9-0 run to take the lead. The team’s lead kept growing as it finished the first half with a 34-16 lead.

Despite this, the Falcons were able to gain some ground by working the Blugold lead to just five points with just under eight minutes left to play. Afterwards, the Blugolds never let the lead fall under that point and were able to close out the win with some key shots and free throws.

Sophomore guard Heidi Arciszewski credited the Falcons for making them work hard. But she feels that the team was able to stick to the game plan when it came down to it.

“River Falls switched it up quite a bit,” Arciszewski said. “But we worked through it and in the end came out on top.”

Arciszewski led the team in scoring with 16 points, while junior forward Michelle Burns led the team with eight rebounds. Junior guard Amanda Zenner contributed with 12 points and five rebounds.

Sophomore guard Heather Witt said that Zenner came through for the Blugolds especially well in the game.

“I think Amanda definitely stepped up and hit some big shots for us,” Witt said. “She was the only one that really pulled the trigger in the mid-line. She shot extremely well.”

Coach Englund feels that despite the win, her team will still have plenty to work on. Englund believes that the team’s fast-paced play can see improvement as well.

“In the second half, the pace was too slow,” Englund said, “We’ve got to learn as we mature that we have to control the tempo because we are very good when it gets to be an up-and-down type of game.”

Despite this, she said the team will be able to use the win to their advantage as it travels to face St. Cloud State (Minn.) on Sunday.

“This is a huge win for us because it really keeps us in that race on the top, Englund said. “And that’s where we want to be, especially down the stretch.”