Defiance 68, Bluffton 65
Bluffton sees seven-point halftime advantage disappear in 68-65 loss at Defiance
December 5, 2007
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team led by as many as seven points in the first half, but host Defiance College outscored the Beavers 38-28 in the second stanza for a 68-65 win. Bluffton fell to 3-4 overall and 0-2 in the Heartland Conference while the Yellow Jackets improved to 2-2 and 1-1 in the HCAC.
A Holly Stein layup with 16:20 to play in the first half gave Defiance an early 10-4 lead before senior Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) got to the hoop between a pair of Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton/Bluffton) jumpers as the Beavers knotted the score at 10 three minutes later.
Amber Bailey put Defiance up 21-16 with just over six minutes to play in the opening half and the Jackets were still up by a point, 26-25, at the 3:37 mark, when Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) converted an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Beavers a two-point lead. Bell followed suit with another three-point play less than a minute later to make it a five-point game.
Sophomore Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) hit consecutive buckets and Buckingham knocked down a jumper which gave Bluffton a 37-30 lead at the break.
To open the second stanza, Defiance went on a quick 9-1 run for a 39-38 lead over the visitors. Bell answered the charge with a long-range triple and freshman Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's), who led the Beavers with a career-high 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, followed with a jumper which made the score 43-39 in favor of Bluffton.
Sarah Grime found the range for a pair of buckets and two free throws as Defiance opened up an eight-point cushion with less than eight minutes to play.
Not ready to hang their heads, the Beavers knotted the game at 57 with 5:17 to play thanks to an Angie Lee trifecta, three Buckingham points, a pair of Bell freebies and a Miller hoop.
Miller knotted the game again with her jumper at the 4:30 mark before Defiance hit back-to-back baskets for a 63-59 advantage.
Lee got to the rack twice in the final two minutes of the contest, but Defiance hit 5-of-6 at the stripe down the stretch to come away with the 68-65 victory over the Beavers.
Leading the Beavers with a game-high 18 points was Kim Miller. Miller pulled down six boards and distributed five assists. Lee went 7-of-12 from the field for 17 points. Buckingham finished with 13 points while Bell added 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Auer ripped down six rebounds, dished out three dimes and picked up three steals. Starting post Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) went down with an ankle injury early in the contest and played only four minutes for the Beavers.
Sarah Bird paced the Jackets with 16 points while Holly Stein recorded a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds.
The Beavers struggled on the boards, being out-rebounded 47-to-33, but Bluffton forced Defiance into 30 miscues, 10 more than the visitors committed. Bluffton hit 16-of-34 from the field in the first half before a 10-for-33 shooting performance in the final 20 minutes allowed Defiance to pick up its first HCAC victory of the season.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 8, when it travels with the men for a conference doubleheader at Rose-Hulman. The contest is slated to start at 1 p.m.