Blugold women’s basketball earns two wins against UW-Stout

    The team’s overall record goes to 4-0


    Photo by SUBMITTED

    Fourth-year center Katie Essen lead the Blugolds in scoring with 23 points

    After starting the season with two wins against UW-La Crosse, the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team continued their winning streak against UW-Stout last week.

    Home vs. UW-Stout 

    The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team continued their winning streak when they beat UW-Stout Wednesday night. 

    From the start, the game was neck and neck, as the Blugolds finished the first quarter with 18 points and the Blue Devils followed closely behind with 16 points. It wasn’t until the end of the first half that the Blugolds gained a 15-point lead, making the score 42-27. 

    Once the teams returned to the floor for the second half, the Blue Devils were able to come back in the third quarter and score 21 points compared to the Blugolds’ scores of 15. The score was now 57-50 as the Blue Devils were able to close that 15-point gap to seven. 

    However, the Blugolds continued to compete in the fourth quarter, adding 21 more points that helped push them to a victory with the final score of 78-71.

    Katie Essen, a fourth-year center, was the leading scorer for the Blugolds, finishing with 23 points. Following her was teammate Maizie Deihl, a fourth-year guard, who racked up a total of 17 points. 

    In the post-game interview after the win, Essen was asked how it felt to be undefeated.

    “Feels great and it’s good to know that all the time you put in the off-season, those long months, are paying off,” Essen said. “And it’s really satisfying to see all the work we put into it.” 

    Coach Tonja Englund also commented on Essen’s performance,

    “Credit to Katie Essen, she played like a senior today, she played like a senior down the stretch,” Englund said. “She played a lot of minutes and she had a tough defensive assignment.”

    Looking ahead to the second matchup against UW-Stout, both Essen and Englund said they are finding ways to improve the outcome of the game. 

    “We seem to bring good energy. You have to be a good start straight off the bat,” Essen said. “So, I’m really looking to pick up the rebounds, push it in transition, and we’re looking forward to getting that back to back game.” 

    Along with Essen’s game improvement goals, Englund had some of her own in regard to the team. 

    “The difference on Friday is us finishing better,” Englund said. “Doing a much better job of rebounding and keeping them off the freethrow line.”

    Away vs. UW-Stout

    On Friday, Feb. 12, the Blugolds headed to Menomonie to play their second matchup of the week against UW-Stout.

    In the first quarter, the Blugolds managed to score 27 points, creating an 8-point lead against the Blue Devils. In the second quarter, the Blugolds slowed down a bit, but held on to the lead, earning a 44-29 lead at the half. 

    During the third quarter, the Blue Devils put up 19 additional points, cutting the game down to a 13-point game heading into the fourth quarter.

    Despite the Blue Devil’s effort, the Blugolds continued scoring as they put up another 28 points in the fourth and took their second win over UW-Stout. The final score was 89-71, earning the Blugolds a 4-0 record going into next week.

    The leading scorer for the game was Jessie Ruden, a second-year point guard, who put up 18 points. Following Ruden was Deihl with 16 points. 

    The Blugolds had five players in double digit scoring for the first time all season in Friday’s game.

    The team is scheduled to host UW-River Falls at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb 17.

    Huettner can be reached at [email protected]