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

    Stevens Point hands women only home loss of season

    David Taintor

    Emotions were high and the crowd was electric, but the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team suffered its first home loss of the season in a 64-57 showing against UW-Stevens Point.

    “Obviously its two very good teams playing against each other,” coach Tonja Englund said. “I think that we have some of the best teams in the league and the nation.”

    It was not only Senior Night at Zorn Arena, but it was also Pink Zone Breast Cancer Awareness night, hosting a crowd of 1,636 pink-wearing basketball fans.

    The Blugolds have been waiting for a chance to get back at the Pointers for a six-point loss at Stevens Point on Jan. 21, but Wednesday wasn’t the night for redemption.

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    It wasn’t the Pointers’ outstanding defense. It wasn’t due to a lack of hustle. Simply put, it was the lack of free throws made by the Blugolds.

    Eau Claire shot 54.5 percent from the free-throw line – making 12 of 22 attempts. The Blugolds have averaged 75 percent from the line all season, making this one of, if not the worst, shooting games this season.

    “When you miss free throws, that really takes your momentum away,” Englund said. “I really thought that was the difference in this game.”

    Down 31-22 at halftime, the Blugolds turned things around and came back with a new, faster paced game plan.

    “That’s our game, and it probably took us too long to get into that unfortunately,” Englund said. “That’s really how we crawled back in, we made it up-tempo.”

    Eau Claire went on an 8-0 run with seven minutes left in the game, but the Pointers made 7 of 8 free throws as well as two jumpers to put the game out of reach.

    Senior Heidi Arciszewski led the Blugolds with 12 points, followed by fellow senior Heather Witt with 11. Junior Jodi Lindner came off the bench to score 10 for Eau Claire, which now sits at 19-4, 10-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

    “They just came and played hard and we didn’t shoot very well,” Witt said. “We just have to go back to practice and get better.”

    The final two games of the regular season will be played on the road against UW-Platteville on Feb. 18 and UW-Stout on Feb. 21 before heading into the WIAC Tournament Feb. 24 through the 28.

    “We have to take it one game at a time before we look at this tournament,” Witt said. “We just have to play our hardest.”

    With the loss, Eau Claire falls to third place in the WIAC, behind UW-Whitewater (19-3, 10-3) and Stevens Point (20-2, 12-1).

    “We’ve got to understand down the stretch that fundamentals, little things, free-throw shooting and finishing two feet shots are important,” Englund said. “Those are critical things we have to do in order to win big games.”

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    Stevens Point hands women only home loss of season