UW-Eau Claire Women’s Basketball falls to UW-Whitewater

The Blugolds’ senior night ends on a bittersweet note

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The Blugolds honored the team’s four seniors for their last regular season game: Bree Meier and Alleah Voigt (pictured above) as well as Arien Brennan and Ellen Blacklock.

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The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team lost to UW-Whitewater on Saturday, Feb.18 at Zorn Arena with a final score of 68-56.

This brought the Blugolds’ record to 13-12 overall and 7-7 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play. The team is ranked fifth in the conference, while the Warhawks are ranked second.

The Blugolds’ senior night started off strong when Eau Claire’s Kayla Hanley drained a three pointer from beyond the arc. The team rode this early momentum as they scored seven total points before the Warhawks made it on the scoreboard.

The tables began to turn, however, when Whitewater kicked it into gear and went on a scoring run. About halfway into the first period, the teams were neck-in-neck at 11-12.

The Blugolds mimicked their intensity and ended the first period with a score of 18-17.

Halfway into the second period, Eau Claire’s grip began to slip. A free throw by Whitewater’s Becky Deichl pulled the Warhawks ahead, and they never looked back — holding the lead for the rest of the game.

Still, the Blugolds followed close behind for most of the game; they were only down four points at the end of both the second and third periods.

The score gap began to widen, however, during the fourth period. The Warhawks had an eleven-point lead at the 7:45 mark.

A three pointer by Eau Claire’s Bree Meier brought the Blugolds back within striking distance — down by just six points — with only 1:43 left in the game.

Whitewater didn’t let them push further and instead finished the game with a twelve-point lead.

Eau Claire’s Bree Meier, a senior guard, said the team’s weakness was their defense.

“We can’t allow 68 points,” Meier said. “We need to lock down defensively, and that’s definitely some adjustments we’ll be making going into playoffs.”

Whitewater had a total of eight steals, and the Warhawks’ Brooke Trewyn led all scores with 22 points. Conversely, the Blugolds had four steals and Meier had a team-high of 14 points.

The teams had similar field goal percentages, however, as they both hovered close to 41 percent. Eau Claire was 20 for 49 from the floor while Whitewater was slightly ahead with 21 for 51.

The Blugolds were 6-8 in free throws and 10-20 in three pointers while the Warhawks were 19-23 and 7-23 in these respective areas.

Although the Blugolds were unable to win against Whitewater, Blugold head coach, Tonja Englund, said that the team has improved since the last time they played them.

“There was a lot of positives compared to the first game,” Englund said. “This team has come a long way.”

Senior night honored the team’s four seniors: Meier, Ellen Blacklock, Arien Brennan and Alleah Voigt.

Meier said although the team did not get the W, she is grateful for the continued support from loyal fans throughout her career.

“It’s a great atmosphere and it’s really been an honor playing in Zorn Arena for four years,” she said.

The Blugolds will take on No. 4 seed UW-Lacrosse for the first round of the WIAC tournament at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 in Lacrosse.