Jessie Ruden caught fire from long range on Tuesday, and it helped keep the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team unbeaten.
Ruden knocked down eight 3-pointers as the Blugolds held off St. Norbert 65-58 in De Pere. She finished with a game-high 26 points to pace Eau Claire.
The Blugolds got out to a strong start and held on from there. Eau Claire (4-0) outscored St. Norbert 20-13 in the first period and did enough the rest of the way to secure a victory.
The Green Knights trimmed what had been an 11-point Blugolds lead to three by halftime, and eventually to two in the third quarter, but it never got any closer.
Tyra Boettcher added 14 points for Eau Claire, and Courtney Crouch scored 10. Bailey Reardon had six points and nine rebounds. Ellie Clayton chipped in with seven points and four rebounds off the bench.
Eau Claire was fresh off a win over third-ranked Trine on Sunday. The Blugolds return to action with tournament play at UW-La Crosse over the holiday weekend. They take on Simpson on Friday and Edgewood on Saturday.
St. Norbert 60, UW-Eau Claire 55: The Blugolds led by as much as 10 in the first half, but couldn’t hold on and lost their home opener at Zorn Arena.
Playing at Zorn for the first time since 2019, Eau Claire ran out to a 21-11 lead midway through the first half. The Blugolds took a 28-22 advantage into halftime, but the Green Knights surged into the lead in the second half.
Eau Claire gained a 53-48 lead thanks to a quick 7-2 run with just under five minutes left to play, but surrendered it in the closing minutes. St. Norbert’s Michael Payant made a go-ahead layup with 2:57 remaining and the Green Knights never trailed again.
David Ijadimbola led the Blugolds with 15 points. Brock Voigt came close to a double-double, scoring 10 points and securing nine rebounds. Eau Claire struggled to convert its shots, finishing with a 35% shooting percentage. The Blugolds went 5 of 25 from beyond the arc.
Eau Claire (4-2) is back in action when it hosts Alma on Sunday afternoon at Zorn Arena.