Bluffton 81, Tri-State 80 (2 OT)
Beavers pull out double-overtime thriller over Tri-State, 81-80
November 28, 2007
By: Evan Miller and Shannon Ramer, sports information assistants
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team survived a double overtime thriller to get the victory over Tri-State and improve to 3-2 on the young season, the Beavers' best start since they went 3-2 to open the 1998-99 campaign. The home team kept its cool while facing a full court press by Tri-State to secure the win, 81-80.
Bluffton jumped out to a 10-5 lead with 16:00 left in the first half following a jumper by freshman Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's). Tri-State evened the score at the 12:22 mark on a layup by Sarah Howe.
The Beavers and Thunder remained close for much of the first half with Bluffton's largest lead of seven points coming on a layin by sophomore Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton/Bluffton) which made the score 30-23, and later in the half Buckingham got to the glass again to give Bluffton a 32-25 lead with just 2:41 on the clock. The Beavers took a 32-27 lead into the locker room at the break.
The Thunder came out firing in the second half with a three-pointer by Kelly Rogers thanks to an assist from Kristen Julian that trimmed Bluffton's lead to 32-30. Bluffton maintained its advantage, eventually extending to a score of 42-34 on a pair of Buckingham free throws with 15:50 left in regulation.
The Thunder made a comeback late in the second half, tying the game at 54 with 5:08 left on the clock. Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) hit one of two from the line to give the Beavers a slim three-point cushion with just nine seconds left on the clock. Rachel Grove hit a long-distance triple as time expired to send the game into overtime.
Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) knocked down two free-throws to give Bluffton a 66-64 advantage at the start of the first overtime. The Thunder gained the lead late in the extra period 70-69 before Bush split a pair of free throws to tie the game at 70 and force a second overtime.
Kim Miller gave the Beavers a 72-70 lead early in the second extra session. The Beavers and Thunder continued to exchange baskets before Amanda Bell got to the hoop for an 81-77 Bluffton lead with 1:26 to play. Liz Gehring dialed long distance with 40 seconds to play, but Bluffton held on for an 81-80 victory over the visitors from Tri-State who are now 3-2 against Heartland Conference squads. The Thunder had defeated Franklin, Rose-Hulman and Anderson while Manchester handed Tri-State its only loss prior to the Beavers' double-overtime victory in Founders Hall.
Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) paced the Beavers with 21 points, including three triples on the night. Amanda Bell added 15 points and pulled down eight rebounds, just missing her first career double-double. Ginny Buckingham led the way in the rebounding department, grabbing a game-high 13 that equaled her career high. Buckingham also got her third career double-double, finishing with 14 points. Amanda Bell dished out eight assists which tied her career high. Bell also led the team with six steals. Lindsay Bush collected 10 boards and also picked up her 11th career double-double as she hit for 19 points. Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) tied her career high in rebounds with five.
Kelly Rogers and Kristen Julian led the Tri-State attack with 20 and 17 points, respectively.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 1, when it hosts Heartland Conference rival Franklin College in the 2007-08 HCAC opener. The contest is slated for 3 p.m. in Founders Hall.