Last second free throw gives Spartans win over Bluffton
January 12, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information intern
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell to Heartland
Conference rival Manchester, 58-57, on Wednesday, January 12, in Stauffer-Wolfe Arena.
Manchester improved to 7-7 overall and 5-2 in the HCAC. Bluffton dropped to 2-5 in
the conference and 5-9 on the season.
The Beavers took a 10-2 lead following a Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) jumper in the paint at the 14:46 mark. Less than two minutes
later, back-to-back baskets by Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) gave the Beavers a 10-point advantage over the Spartans.
For the next five minutes, the Beavers maintained their seven-point lead with the
help of Kim Miller's (Delphos/St. John's) dish to Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) who drained a three-pointer with 5:59 left in the opening period.
Stegmaier's deep ball and an old-fashioned three-point play by Miller pushed the Beaver
lead to 14 until a layin from Kelsey DeMott and a trifecta by Erynn Meiklejohn at the 2:51 mark cut the deficit to six.
A Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) chip shot gave Bluffton a 25-20 lead with less than one minute
in the first half. Melissa Eltzroth missed a triple at the buzzer as the Beavers went into halftime with a four-point
Bluffton started the second half with hoops by Kim Meyer (Millbury/Lake) and Stegmaier. A Daman layin at the 18:25 mark gave the Beavers their
largest lead of the second half (33-22).
The Spartans trimmed the deficit to six with a Laine Mello layup and a trip to the charity stripe from Ashley Poe. A Daman three put the Beavers up by nine with 12:15 on the clock. A bucket from
Brittani Bush pulled the Spartans within five at the 6:17 mark.
With 3:28 left, the Beavers were up by seven (55-48) courtesy of a trifecta from Stegmaier
and a Daman layin. Manchester responded with a 9-0 run, giving the Spartans their
first advantage of the second half (57-55).
Miller hit a pair of free throws to knot the game with 18 seconds remaining, but an
Alexandra Starkey free throw with one-second on the clock sent Manchester to a 58-57 victory.
Kim Miller paced the Beavers with seven assists, six rebounds and 11 points. Brittany
Stegmaier added 16 counters on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. Rachel Daman chipped
in with 15 points on the strength of three triples.
Bluffton hit 19-of-46 (41.3 percent) from the field, while Manchester made just 17-of-56
(30.4 percent). The Beavers went 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from long range, compared
to just three deep makes by Manchester (15.8 percent). The Spartans won the battle
on the boards (44-32) and they turned it over seven fewer times (20-13).
The Bluffton University women's basketball team will resume Heartland Conference action
on Saturday, January 15, in Founders Hall. The contest with Earlham College will tip
at 1 p.m.