ST. PAUL, Minn. (blugolds.com)- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire women's basketball team came up short in a road trip to St. Catherine Saturday afternoon, losing 59-43.
A low-scoring first quarter ended with Eau Claire on top, 6-4. Even though the offense couldn't really get going, the Blugold defense played incredibly well during the period, with four steals. The second was significantly different, as both offenses shot the ball well. Eau Claire scored 13 points during the quarter, with six points coming from Hallee Hoeppner (Sr.-Winona, MN). The score at halftime was 27-19 in favor of St. Catherine.
It was a tough third quarter for the Blugolds, only managing five points. They still were able to respond with a strong final period of play in the fourth. A layup by Hoeppner started things off, and the Blugolds cut the lead to near single digits. However, the Wildcats hit several clutch free throws in the final minute to seal the win.
Overall the Blugolds shot 37% from the field but were never able to get it going from beyond the three-point line. The defense still played well throughout the entire four quarters, holding St. Catherine under 40 percent shooting, while forcing 17 turnovers.
Hoeppner ended up leading all players with 18 points, while also adding six rebounds and two steals. Anna Graaskamp (Sr.-Eau Claire, WI/Memorial) added nine points herself, able to go 2-3 from three-point. Off the bench, Katie Essen (Jr.-Farmington, MN/Rosemount) led Eau Claire with seven boards.
The loss leaves the Blugolds 3-5 as they hope to recharge before a late December trip to Daytona, Florida to partake in the Land of Magic Classic. Their first game will be on December 28th at 1 PM versus Framingham State. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app from your mobile device.