UW-Eau Claire’s Women Basketball loses to UW-Whitewater 61-58

    The Blugolds face their first home loss of the season to the Warhawks.

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    At home, the Blugolds fell to UW-Whitewater on Saturday for their sixth loss of the year.

    Playing at home for the first time in two weeks, the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team fell to UW-Whitewater 61-58 on Saturday at Zorn Arena.

    UW-Whitewater was the first to score, but Eau Claire held the lead for most of the first quarter as they took advantage of many free throw opportunities. The Warhawks finished the quarter on a 10-4 run to go into the second leading 17-15.

    Opening the second quarter, the Warhawks scored back-to-back three pointers in the first minute and a half. The Blugolds made a run near the end of the half to bring them within two points. UW-Whitewater scored at the buzzer to end the first half in the lead with 31-27.

    This was Anna Graaskamp’s, a second-year forward, first game back after an injury. After halftime, the team brought back the energy back they had at the start of the game, Graaskamp said.

    “Before the game we talked about just going out and playing,” Grasskamp said.” “We kind of brought that back in the second half more.”

    Eau Claire certainly fought back in the second half as they tied up the game early in the third quarter. Later on, the Blugolds once again tied the game only to have the Warhawks take the lead and go into the final frame with a 47-38 lead.

    Throughout most of the fourth quarter, Eau Claire played catch up. They had a short run that brought them within one basket to tie with Whitewater. The Blugolds surpassed the opposing team with 1:14 left in the game and a score of 56-55.

    It was the first time since the first quarter that they were able to take the lead. They held the lead for 30 seconds, then Whitewater came back when they made six free throws in a row. In the end,  the Blugolds lost the game 61-58.

    “There’s a lot of season left it’s just for us right now, we have to grasp soon that we have to take care of the ball and that we have to have better decision making,” Coach Tonja Englund said.“I think there are 3-4 teams in this league that are some of the best in the country and that’s what’s exciting, is that if we keep on playing this team it’s gonna make us better.”

    The Blugolds will look to their next game, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Zorn Arena against UW-Stout.

    Englund said that their defense will have to be ready for the game and the Blugolds will, “Clean some of the things up that we did today.”