Franklin 91, Bluffton 68
Beavers drop conference opener at Franklin College, 91-68
December 2, 2006
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team led by as many as 10 points at 2005-06 HCAC regular season champion Franklin College on Saturday, December 2, 2006, before the Grizzlies took control late in the first half en route to a 91-68 victory over the Beavers. Bluffton fell to 0-6, 0-1 in the Heartland Conference, while Franklin remains perfect at 6-0, 2-0 in the HCAC.
Senior point guard Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding), who scored her 1,000th point late in the contest, and junior Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) opened the game with back-to-back triples to give Bluffton a 6-4 lead less than three minutes into the contest. Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) knocked down a pair from the charity stripe and Sarah Bruner (Wauseon/Pettisville) followed with a trifecta, pushing the Beavers' advantage to five points at the 15:40 mark of the opening half. Angie Lee rebounded a Rickenberg free throw attempt and converted with 13 minutes to play, making the score 16-10 in favor of Bluffton.
In a game of momentum swings, Franklin went on a 10-2 spurt, giving the Grizzlies a 20-18 advantage midway through the first stanza.
Rickenberg capped a 12-0 Bluffton explosion, which included a pair of Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) layups, an Angie Lee trifecta and two Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) charity tosses, with a long-range triple to put the Beavers on top, 30-20, with 7:21 to play in the half.
A Lindsay Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) jumper made the score 32-24 at the 5:32 mark, but Franklin dialed up the defensive pressure and forced eight Bluffton turnovers over the final five minutes of the half as the Grizzlies outscored the Beavers 14-0 over that span to take a 38-32 lead to the break.
An Angie Lee jumper pulled the Beavers to within six, 40-34, less than two minutes into the second half, before Franklin went on a 34-15 run to put the game on ice with 8:17 to play. The Grizzlies knocked down six triples during that stretch, including five from Franklin standout Courtney Swain who finished 8-of-13 from outside the arc for a game-high 26 points.
Freshman Deborah Smith (Lima/Perry) took over for Bluffton late in the game and scored 10 points over the final 6:20 but it was not enough as Franklin improved to 2-0 in the HCAC with a convincing 91-68 victory over the Beavers.
Senior standout Tanya Rickenberg rebounded her own miss with two minutes to play and a putback gave her 11 points for the night and 1,000 for her career at Bluffton. She is currently fourth all-time as a Beaver and needs only 122 points to surpass leading scorer Janice Bruner, aunt of sophomore Sarah Bruner, for first place on the career scoring list at Bluffton.
Franklin knocked down 56 percent from the field (33-of-59) and forced the Beavers into 22 turnovers. Bluffton held a commanding 35-to-24 advantage on the boards, including a 13-6 margin on the offensive end.
Angie Lee led the Beavers with 17 points and five assists on 7-of-12 shooting from the field. Rickenberg tallied 11 points and hauled in nine rebounds while Lindsay Bush also netted 11 points to go along with her six boards. Deborah Smith was a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line for a career-high 10 points.
The Beavers return to action on Wednesday, December 6, when they visit HCAC rival Defiance College. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.