Anderson 60, Bluffton 49
Ravens outscore Bluffton 40-23 in second half for 60-49 win
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
January 14, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team struggled down the stretch against Anderson University as the Ravens downed the Beavers by a score of 60-49 in Founders Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 14. With the loss, Bluffton's record fell to 1-5 in conference play and 9-6 overall. The Ravens improved to 7-7 overall and 5-1 in the HCAC, a half-game behind conference leader Transylvania.
Both teams broke into the scoring column with three-pointers. Bluffton's Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) hit the first basket of the game, giving the Beavers a 3-0 lead. On Anderson's next possession, Mel Hawthorne hit a three-ball to tie the game with 17:26 left.
The Beavers held a small advantage for the next few minutes. At the 11:30 mark, freshman Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) hit Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) for a layup to give Bluffton an 8-5 lead.
Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg) drained a triple to extend the Beavers lead to 13-7. The Ravens wasted no time erasing the deficit and they took a 14-13 lead on a pair of free throws by Mel Hawthorne with 6:42 left in the first period.
With 2:45 left in the half freshman Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) drained her lone three-pointer of the night, giving Bluffton a 20-16 lead. With just under a minute to go in the first, Kayla Martin converted a layup to pull the Ravens within four, 24-20. Bluffton took a six-point lead into the break thanks to a late Buckingham layup.
To open the second half, the Beavers looked like they were well on their way to victory. Bluffton was able to move the ball down the court following a Vicki Auer rebound which led to a jumper by freshman Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial), making the score 28-22.
At the 12:35 mark, Shellabarger dropped in another jumper thanks to an assist from Buckingham that pushed Bluffton's lead to seven, 36-29. Unfortunately for Bluffton, the Ravens were not prepared to go silently. With 10:16 left, Kayla Martin got to the rack to make the score 38-35 in favor of Bluffton.
The Ravens then caught fire from beyond the arc, allowing the visitors to overtake Bluffton. A Mel Hawthorne trifecta gave Anderson its first lead of the second half, 42-41, with 6:33 left. The Ravens' Julie Bynum was also able to hit from distance moments later to push the Anderson advantage to six with 5:13 left in the contest.
Bluffton came close to tying the score late in the game, drawing within two points following another Emily Shellabarger layup which made the score 49-47 with 2:09 left. The Beavers tallied only two more points in the final two minutes as the Ravens took care of business at the charity stripe for a 60-49 victory.
Junior Ginny Buckingham did it all for Bluffton, posting her eighth career double-double. Buckingham accomplished this feat by leading the Beavers in points, with 14, and rebounds, with 10. She also had three steals and two assists. Also scoring in double figures was Emily Shellabarger who contributed 12 points and two blocks. Sophomore Kim Miller dished out five of Bluffton's 15 assists. Shellabarger and Miller both ripped down six boards in the loss.
Both teams struggled from the field with Bluffton making just 17-of-54 shots (31.5 percent), while Anderson converted 19-of-51 (37.3 percent) field goals. The Beavers won the war on the glass (38-35), but Anderson took advantage at the free throw line. The Ravens made 17-of-22 freebies while Bluffton finished 10-of-14 at the stripe. The home team coughed it up six more times (15-9) than Anderson did.
Bluffton will return to action on Saturday, January 17, at 1 p.m. when the Beavers travel to the College of Mt. St. Joseph.