Women’s basketball clips the Warhawks

Story by Spenser Bickett

The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team collected its fourth win in a row on Saturday against the UW-Whitewater Warhawks in a 75-70 victory at Zorn Arena.

The game was a highly-contested affair with 11 lead changes and neither team leading by more than seven points.

Freshman forward Courtney Lewis said the team’s focus for the game was breaking Whitewater’s defense.

“They hope that we’re going to get messy and lose fundamentals; that’s where they get a lot of their points,” Lewis said.

Senior guard Nicole Christianson said the team wanted to take advantage of their superior post players.

“We wanted to go into our post because we knew that ours were a little more dominant inside than what theirs were,” Christianson said.

Senior forward Callie Halama led the Blugolds in scoring with 23 points, and also hauled in 11 rebounds, giving her a double-double for the second game in a row.

“I guess it could be a hot streak, it’s definitely the first time I’ve kept getting better and better,” Halama said.  “It’s definitely a confidence builder.”

Christianson said revenge was a key motivation for the Whitewater game.

“Last year, we lost by one to them at home on a silly mistake at the end of the game,” Christianson said.  “We wanted to show them that they shouldn’t win in Zorn.”

Christianson said the four game winning streak keeps everyone excited and motivated.

“It gives us that feeling that we are contenders and we can compete with everyone in our conference,” Christianson said.

Halama said the winning streak is a great way to start conference play.

“It definitely feels great to be undefeated in conference,” Halama said.  “Our goal is to go into Christmas break and our trip to Texas undefeated in conference.”

As a freshman, Lewis said she wants to focus on having a successful year for the seniors.

“I’m just glad that it’s going that way for the seniors, too,”
she said.

Lewis said it has been an adjustment to come in as a freshman and play with seniors, but they have been helpful.

“All the girls have really helped me adjust, they’re just great,” she said.  “Couldn’t ask for a better team.”

Christianson said the team has two goals for the year; to win conference and to make it into the NCAA tournament at the end of the year.

The win puts Eau Claire at 7-2 on the year, with a perfect 3-0 record in WIAC conference play.

Halama said the team’s primary goal is to keep their win streak going.

“Obviously we have our high expectations, but still our goal is just taking it game by game and getting one win at a time.”