Bluffton 67, Rose-Hulman 53
Beavers hit 9-of-19 threes en route to 67-53 win over RHIT
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
January 24, 2009
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team chalked up another win at home, completing the season sweep of Rose-Hulman, 67-53. With the win, Bluffton's third straight HCAC victory, the Beavers improved to 12-6 overall, and 4-5 in the conference. Rose-Hulman dropped to 5-11 on the season and 2-7 in HCAC play.
Freshman Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) dropped in the first bucket in the game as she was able to convert a layup less than forty seconds in, putting Bluffton up 2-0. Kim Miller (Delphos/St. Johns) collected one of her game-high seven assists on the play.
Bluffton started the game on a 6-0 run, and it was not until nearly three minutes into the game that Rose Hulman found the scoring column. The Engineers' first basket came on a Donna Marsh layup, making the score 6-2 with 17:05 left. Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) hit from beyond the arc to extend Bluffton's lead to 11-2 with four minutes gone in the first half. The Beavers used the three-ball to their advantage as they shot 47.4 percent for the game on 9-of-19 attempts.
After Bluffton's hot start, Rose-Hulman began to find its offensive game. Bluffton's lead was cut to two points with 13:03 left in the first half following a Liz Ridgeway basket which made the score 11-9. The Engineers were able to take the lead for the first time in the game with a Shayna Banet basket, giving the visitors a 16-15 advantage. A steal by Alisa Dickerson with 9:03 left in the first set up Eli Baca for a layup, giving Rose a 20-17 lead.
After Bluffton took a timeout to regroup, Vicki Auer hit a jumper thanks to an assist from junior Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton). Another Auer three-pointer knotted the game at 22 with 4:36 to play in the half.
Freshman Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) grabbed a defensive rebound and then hit her first triple of the game on the ensuing possession, giving Bluffton a 28-26 advantage with 2:23 left in the half. Stegmaier contributed a career-high 11 points off of the bench in 16 minutes, draining 3-of-4 triples. Kim Miller gave Bluffton a five-point lead when she converted an old-fashioned three-point play. The Beavers took a three-point lead into the half, 35-32.
The Beavers came out strong after the break and were able to get the first basket of the second half. Ginny Buckingham grabbed a defensive board as Rose Hulman's Nicole Klass missed a three-pointer and Buckingham got to the rack at the other end of the floor courtesy of an Emily Shellabarger assist. On Bluffton's next possession the lead was pushed to seven when Shellabarger got inside for a layup, making the score 39-32 with 18 minutes to go.
Bluffton was able to enjoy a four to eight-point advantage over the next few minutes until Rose Hulman cut the deficit to two points (44-42) on a jumper by Donna Marsh with 12 minutes left. Bluffton responded with another trifecta, this one coming from freshman Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) for a 49-42 lead. Ruble contributed twelve points off the bench, hitting 4-of-5 from beyond the arc during a five-minute span late in the game.
The home team's lead grew to 12 points by way of a Brittany Stegmaier layup at the 5:47 mark. Following the Stegmaier deuce, Bluffton's defense held the Engineers to just two points to put an exclamation point on the season sweep with a 67-53 victory.
The Beavers had three players score in double-digits. Shellabarger led the way with 24 points and seven rebounds despite sitting out much of the second half. Ruble and Stegmaier scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Buckingham and Stegmaier both ripped down six rebounds and Miller dished out seven assists. Auer tallied eight points, five rebounds and four steals, while Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) chipped in five rebounds and four assists.
The Engineers were led in scoring by Shayna Banet and Alisa Dickerson, each contributing 12 points. Bluffton out rebounded RHIT 44-36 and the Beavers finished the game with 23 assists, 12 more than the Engineers. Bluffton's bench did the job in the second half as the Beavers were able to outscore the visitors 22-6.
Bluffton returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 28, when the Beavers welcome Manchester College to Founders Hall. The contest is slated to tip at 7:30 p.m.