The UW-Whitewater (19-7) women’s basketball lost to UW-Eau Claire (14-12) 69-59 Tuesday night at Kachel Gymnasium. This was the first round of play in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship. *The fate of the Warhawks season will be announced during the selection show Monday at 1:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Eau Claire jumped early with an 8-0 lead in the first quarter. Although there were seven ties and 19 lead changes, the Blugolds outworked the ‘Hawks. They out rebounded the Warhawks 32-27 and made more appearances at the free throw line.
“It was a good game on both ends, we needed to capitalize on their mistakes to take the lead and we just couldn’t do it,” said one of the assistant coaches for Warhawks, Kristen Hammer. The Blugolds were able to out pace the Warhawks in all four quarters.
Blugold Teenie Lichtfuss led her team with 23 points and five assists. Erin O’Tool had 20 points and 12 rebounds to give her a double-double for the night.
“It’s hard losing a game like this,” said Warhawk senior Lisa Palmer. “This could be the last game of my career and we were so close to winning it.”
Warhawks Andrea Meinert led the team with 14 points and was 50 percent with her shots. Brooke Trewyn trailed her with 9 points along with six rebounds. Lisa Palmer also contributed six rebounds.
Blugolds had a 29-27 advantage going into halftime. They were able to extend their lead early in the third quarter but Meinert cut it back down and trailed 44-43 at the end of the third quarter. Warhawks hit shots but the Blugolds hit more making the final score 69-59.
A senior Warhawk fan said “It was hard to watch the team possibly end their season this way, being a senior I understand how much it hurts to have your sport come to an end… it sucks.”
The Blugolds will hit the road to take on UW-River Falls for the semifinal round of the WIAC tournament. The game is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. The Warhawks will sit and wait to see where they are left standing on Monday at 1 p.m.