March 7, 2009

Courtesy of Ill.-Wesleyan

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - For the first time in school history, the Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball team has advanced to the sectional round of the NCAA Division III tournament, claiming an 80-63 win over Wis.-Eau Claire on Saturday, March 7.

The Titans next play against Wis.-Stevens Point at a sectional site to be announced on Sunday. The Pointers were 78-58 winners at home against Concordia (Wis.).

Against the Blugolds (24-6), the Titans led 38-32 at the half and Eau Claire closed to within three at 50-47 with 13:38 to play. IWU held the Blugolds scoreless for a four minute, 45 second stretch, extending a 53-49 lead to a 64-49 advantage.

The No. 1-ranked Titans (29-0) were led by the 17 points of senior Claire Sheehan while senior Mallory Heydorn and junior Christina Solari each added 13. Sheehan led IWU with eight rebounds as the Blugolds outrebounded IWU, 37-32. The Titans shot 50 percent (28 of 56) from the field and connected on 10 of 27 (37 percent) from 3-point range.

Heidi Arciszewski scored 15 points and freshman Ellen Plendl had 11 points and gathered a game-high 11 caroms in the loss. The Blugolds were guilty of 20 turnovers and shot 40 percent (21 of 53) from the floor.

Other schools in the same sectional as Illinois Wesleyan and Stevens Point will be St. Benedict and Washington University (Mo.).