Bluffton vs. Thomas More

Saturday, January 20, 2001

BC Game Day Notes

The Bluffton College women's basketball team will look to get back on the winning track this afternoon against non-league foe Thomas More College. The Beavers are coming off two straight Heartland Conference losses at home, while Thomas More has won four of their last five games to overcome a 4-8 start to the 2000-01 season.

Bluffton's recent shooting woes have contributed to a few recent losses, most recently in Wednesday's 78-53 loss to Franklin when BC shot just 27.8% from the floor. Bluffton led for the first ten minutes of the contest, but a 15-4 Franklin run midway through the first half led to a 32-24 FC lead at halftime, which expanded in the second half as the Grizzlies moved into a second place tie in the HCAC. Bluffton was led by senior Jen Bear with 13 points and nine rebounds, while senior Elizabeth Snavely added 11 points.

In that Franklin game, however, Bluffton was without the services of starting guard Kristy Crall, who was forced out of action by a head injury sustained last Saturday against Hanover. She is expected to play this afternoon, bringing back her 7.6 points per game to go along with her team-high 41 assists and 30 steals, which rank second and third in the league.

Bear, who has led BC in scoring the last three games, ranks 9th in the league in both scoring (10.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg), while sharing the post-up duties with Snavely, who ranks 5th in the HCAC in scoring (12.7 ppg) and 5th in rebounding (6.5 ppg). Around the perimeter, BC guards Krall and sophomore Kristin Helvey rank 2nd and 3rd in the HCAC in assists, 3rd and 4th in 3-point field goal percentage and 3-point field goals made, and 2nd and 5th in steals. Senior Liz Bock ranks 2nd in the HCAC in field goal percentage at 54.8% and her 1.00 blocked shots per game is 6th.

Thomas More, who advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 1996, handed Bluffton an 84-76 loss in Founders Hall last season despite 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds from Bear. Helvey and senior wing Bree Wood also netted 14 points in that game as BC controlled the boards with a 44-37 rebounding edge. The Beavers hit 55.2% of their field goals in the first half but trailed at the intermission 45-41 as 29 turnovers in the game, their second-most of the season, led to the eight-point loss. TMC guard Holly Roberts led the Saints with 26 points against BC last year and is one of four returning starters back this season.

TMC statistics were not made available to the Bluffton sports information office, and only a roster and schedule appear on their website.Bluffton and Thomas More, which are both one game under the .500 mark, have met five common opponents this season. BC and TMC shared the same fate against all of them except one, that being Hanover College, who beat Bluffton here last Saturday 71-64 but who fell to Thomas More 74-59 on December 6. BC and TMC have both lost to Wilmington and Ohio Wesleyan this season, while both beating Manchester and Mount St. Joseph. These two schools are former members of the Association of Mideast Colleges (1991-96) and have met 21 times on the basketball court. BC holds a 13-8 lead in the all-time series, but TMC has won four of the last six meetings.

Elsewhere around the Heartland Conference today, Anderson travels to Defiance, Hanover travels to Manchester and Mount St. Joseph is at Franklin.