UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball find themselves the ‘Best in the West’

Blugolds win two more games, hold 6-0 record

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On Feb. 17, the Blugolds recognized their four seniors.

As the Blugolds went on to play UW-River Falls this week they added two games to their winning streak. After winning both games by 15+ points, the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team finds themself ranked #1 in the west division. 

Home vs. UW-River Falls 

Looking to grab another win and to celebrate the seniors, the Blugolds needed to defeat the Falcons in their first head-to-head matchup. 

By the end of the first quarter the Blugolds took an 18-12 lead giving both teams an opportunity to stay in the game early.

The second quarter was taken over by the Falcons as they were able to put up 19 more points over the Blugolds’ 14. This left the teams with a 32-31 score at halftime, the Blugolds up by one. 

In the third quarter the Blugolds pushed ahead to the biggest lead of the game. UW-Eau Claire scored 26 points, giving them a 58-48 lead at the end of the quarter.

Finishing the game off, the Blugolds were able to score an additional 28 points in the fourth quarter and take the victory over the Falcons with a final score of 86-58. 

Two players had a game high of 19 points: Tyra Boettcher, a third-year transfer forward, and Ellie Clayton, a third-year forward.

In the post-game interview, Boettcher talked about coming onto the team as a transfer in January and how both the team and coaches helped get her ready for the games ahead. 

“The transition has been great, I mean, I just came here this semester in January, but all the girls have been super accepting,” Boettcher said. “The coaches have also been amazing and helping me through everything, putting in extra time to get me ready.”

Tonja Englund, head coach, also commented on the transition of adding Boettcher to the team. 

“She fits our style and there’s no place but up for her in how this is going to work for her coming into our program,” Englund said. “It’s not easy to come in at the semester and pick up everything we run. It’s a complicated system. Credit to Tyra.”

The seniors recognized were Maizie Deihl (#4), Katelyn Morgan (#13),  Katie Essen (#34), and Reba Rortvedt (athletic training student).

Away vs. UW-River Falls 

Going into their second matchup, the first quarter was close once again, but the Blugolds managed to stay in front, taking an early 18-13 lead.

Starting the second quarter ahead by five points, the Blugolds were unable to keep the lead as the Falcons scored 28 points, ending the half trailing 41-32. For the first time this season, the Blugolds found themselves in a nine point deficit. 

The game was far from over as the Blugolds came out in the third quarter scoring 25 points, retaking the lead and making it a 57-54 game.

To finish the game off, the Blugolds put up 18 more points and held the Falcons to just three points in the fourth quarter, making it a final score of 75-57. 

Katie Essen, a fourth-year center, had a game high of 26 points. Following her was Maizie Deihl, a fourth-year guard, who finished with 16 points. 

The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team is now 6-0 for the season, putting them on the very top of the West division. 

Following the games, the team’s Twitter account tweeted, “Best in the West? You Betcha! #rollgolds.”

Next week the Blugolds will play two games against UW-Oshkosh at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24 and 26.

Huettner can be reached at [email protected]