EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – While the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team led a majority of the night, the game against Warburg College (Iowa) came down to the end but the Blugolds hung on to win 47-45 in Zorn Arena tonight.
Over the opening seven minutes, Wartburg held the Blugolds to just three points as the Knights took a 9-3 lead. But over a seven minute stretch that lasted until there were a little more than five minutes left in the first, the Blugolds used a 15-2 run to get up by seven (18-11).
However, Wartburg ended the first half with a 9-1 run to take a one-point lead (20-19) into the locker room. Baileigh O'Brien nailed a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Knights the lead.
The Blugolds came out strong in the second half and outscored the Knights 14-2 over the first seven minutes to get up by 11 (33-22). Still up by 11 points midway through the second half, Wartburg started to chip away at the Blugolds' lead.
Starting at the 10-minute mark and lasting until there were about 30 seconds to play, Wartburg outscored the Blugolds 18-7 to tie the game at 45. The Blugolds were able to hang on though as Courtney Lewis (So.-Prairie Du Chien, Wis.) hit two key free throws to give Eau Claire a 47-45 win.
Sarah Bingea (Sr.-Delano, Minn.) finished with a double-double as she led the game with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Teenie Lichtfuss (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./Loudes) added 11 points.
The Blugolds shot just 21.2 percent (7-for-33) from the field in the opening half, scoring 19 points, but improved slightly in the second half to finish shooting 26.6 percent (17-for-64) for the game. Wartburg shot 34 percent (16-for-47). Eau Claire held a slight edge in rebounding 44-42 and turned the ball over 10 times to Wartburg's 18.
Eau Claire snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-3 on the season while Wartburg is now 2-2.
The Blugolds will be home again Saturday when they face UW-La Crosse in the WIAC opener. The game is part of a doubleheader with the men and will get underway about 5 p.m.