Bluffton rally falls short in 70-68 loss to The Mount
December 2, 2009
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell to Heartland
Conference rival Mt. St. Joseph, 70-68, on Wednesday, December 2, 2009. With the loss,
the Beavers slipped to 0-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall. The Lions improve to
4-3 this season, including 1-0 in the HCAC.
Senior forward Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) sparked the Bluffton offense with an old-fashioned three-point play to
open the game. However, Mt. St. Joseph took control of the next five minutes until
sophomore Kirstie Runion (Cincinnati/Cin. Christian) drained a triple to tie the game at six.
At the 12:27 mark, Emily Shellabarger (St. Marys/Memorial) picked up the offensive board and follow to put the Beavers
up, 10-9. The lead was short lived as the Lions found their rhythm offensively. With
less than 10 minutes in the first half, Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) connected with Buckingham for a layin to cut the deficit
to four, but the Mount kept finding the hoop. Mt. St. Joseph led by 13 points by the
end of the first half, 35-22, over Bluffton.
In the second period, Buckingham once again triggered the Beaver offense with a layup.
The next trip down the court, Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) drove to the hoop thanks to a dish from senior guard Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon). Bluffton kept chipping away as the home team trimmed the
deficit down to just three points with a pair of freebies from Ruble at the 14-minute
With just less than 10 minutes on the clock, an Auer layin brought the Beavers within
two, 54-52. Two minutes later, Miller snatched the Mt. St. Joseph possession and converted
it into a deuce at the other end to tie the game at 56. With 1:36 remaining, Buckingham
sank one from the charity stripe to put Bluffton up by one, but the Lions finished
on a 5-2 run to defeat the Beavers, 70-68.
Kim Miller led Bluffton with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, establishing
a new career-high in the process despite scoring only four points in the opening half.
Miller went 7-for-7 from the line and also contributed eight rebounds, two assists
and two steals. Ginny Buckingham fashioned her 11th career double-double with 16 boards,
11 in the first half, and 11 points on the night. Kirstie Runion chipped in a career-high
12 points and grabbed four boards, while senior Katie Lord (Toledo/Whitmer) added five rebounds for Bluffton. Vicki Auer tallied six points
and six rebounds, while also dishing out four assists.
Carolyn Holt paced the Lions with 14 points and nine boards. Katie Jo Collins had 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal in the victory. Brittany Sparks handed out five assists for Mt. St. Joseph.
Bluffton made 18-of-25 (72 percent) from the free throw line, compared to 13-of-21
(61.9 percent) for Mt. St. Joseph. The Beavers went 24-of-69 (34.8 percent) from the
field, while the Lions hit 25-of-61 (41 percent). Bluffton finished with a slight
edge, 45-44, on the glass. The Lions drained five more treys (7-2) than the home team
while also committing three more turnovers than the Beavers (17-14).
The Bluffton University women's basketball team will return to action on Saturday,
December 5, when they travel to Lexington, Kentucky, to face Transylvania University.
The HCAC contest is slated to tip at 2 p.m. and it will be followed by the Bluffton
men's game with the Pioneers.