The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Women’s basketball clinch first win on the season

The Blugolds defeat Bethel, improve to 1-2

The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team took home their first win of the season with a 76-62 victory over Bethel University in Minnesota on Saturday.

The Blugolds were led by a career-high 22 points from second-year guard Kyla Overskei, shooting 5 of 7 from beyond the three-point line.

It was a tight first quarter with neither team leading by more than five points. Overskei scored seven to help the Blugolds pull ahead 17-15 at the end of the quarter.

The Blugolds went on a run in the second quarter to mount on their lead, going up 39-28 at the half. 

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They would never let go of the lead, outsourcing Bethel 21-16 in the third quarter and maintaining the lead through the rest of the second half.

“It was a step in the right direction,” head coach Tonja Englund said. “But it’s early for all teams and I’m happy with where we’re at now.”

In addition to Overskei’s 22 points, the Blugolds shared the ball around. Third-year guard Kylie Strop put up 19 points with nine assists and third-year forward Olivia Pekron and fifth-year Kylie Mogen each scored 12.

“We played very well collectively as a whole team, which is what we were striving for,” Mogen said.

The Blugolds shot 59% from the field and 46% from beyond the arc. The team also put up seven steals, two blocks and outrebounded the Royals 34-25.

“We really prioritized rebounding and getting defensive stops and that led to our offense,” Mogen said.

The first win of the season gives the Blugolds something to build on, which Englund said is important for this year’s younger team.

“It really helps,” Englund said. “We graduated 95% of our offense last year. You start with a new team, you establish that identity so it really helps to get that first win.”

Mogen said the road win is a big confidence boost, following two losses at home to start the season.

“I think it was really great we got it on the road. It can be tough going to our first away game keeping our head held high,” she said. “It just takes one win to get the ball rolling.”

The Blugolds have made the NCAA National Tournament two years in a row. While this year’s team is younger, Mogen said the team is still looking to be successful.

“We do have a different team and a different look to us, but I think the potential we have is limitless,” Mogen said. “We have a lot of raw talent and girls who bring something different to the table.”

Mogen says the goal for this season is to take one game at a time.

“We want to get back to the national tournament and make it far in the WIAC tournament,” she said. “With this younger team, taking it day by day and game by game and prioritizing the game at hand.”

The Blugolds travel to Wartburg College on Saturday for their next matchup.

“We play one of the toughest schedules in the nation and this is a really important part of our schedule right now,” Englund said. “We’ve got some great opportunities before we get into the WIAC to make this group gritty and savvy against really good competition.”


Mohr can be reached at [email protected].

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