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 hoops loses close game

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team lost a close game on Saturday at Zorn Arena, falling to the UW-River Falls Falcons by a score of 60-59.

    The Blugolds went ahead by one with just over 1:30 to play on a jump shot by senior forward Nicole Christianson. However, River Falls responded when senior guard Tiffany Gregorich hit a layup with 15 seconds left to put the Falcons up 60-59 and give them the win.

    Coach Tonja Englund said that the team’s offense worked well, but they weren’t able to get defensive stops when they needed to, like when the game was close. “The difference is going to be a loose ball, an offensive board, a free throw,” Englund said. “That’s the difference maker.”

    Senior forward Callie Halama had a team-high 15 points, and said that when the team’s outside shots aren’t falling, they need to focus on finishing on the inside.

    Story continues below advertisement

    “If that’s not going, defensive stops are the key,” Halama said. “As long as we get defensive stops, then we would have been fine.”

    Senior point guard Laura Olson had eight points and two steals, and she said the team needed defensive stops on key possessions, and just couldn’t get them.

    “There was a point in the game that we traded possessions and we couldn’t get a defensive stop,” Olson said. “That’s what I think it came down to.”

    Eau Claire had 18 assists on 26 field goals, which Englund attributed to the team’s good ball movement on the day, and their ability to make the extra pass. Gregorich was the game’s leading scorer with 21 points, and Englund said she thought it came down to River Falls’ go-to guard play and Eau Claire’s go-to post play.

    “I think both teams got what they wanted with their strengths,” Englund said. “The difference was we didn’t do a better job stopping their strength.”

    Englund said one thing the team needs to work on going into the last part of the year is their possession to possession play in close games, especially getting stops on defense and taking care of the ball on offense.

    “It’s good experience, a game like this, because obviously in the postseason this is going to happen,” Englund said.

    The loss brings the Blugolds to 17-5 on the year, with a 10-3 record in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. After being in first place in the WIAC for most of the year, Eau Claire is now second behind UW-Stevens Point. Halama said the team’s focus for their last three games needs to be on their home court advantage, with two of their final three at home.

    Olson said having the pressure of first place can be too much, but the team has done well dealing with it during the year.

    “It’s going to be a huge game, and hopefully we can come out on top,” Olson said.

    The team’s final regular season game of the year is at home against conference-leading Stevens Point on Feb. 18.

    The Blugolds are back in action next week, when they travel to UW-Stout to take on the Blue Devils.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Women’s hoops loses close game