2017-18 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 62, Manchester 59
January 17, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball squad hit the road to take on the Manchester University Spartans in a Wednesday night affair. The teams went back and forth, but the Beavers would end up coming home with the 62-59 victory, improving to 12-4 (7-2 HCAC), while MU slipped to 4-12 and 3-6 in the conference.
Bluffton jumped out to a 5-0 start thanks to an old-fashioned three-point play by KAYCEE ROWE (Harrod/Allen East) after grabbing an offensive rebound. The Beavers led 15-4 at the 3:47 mark of the first quarter but a 12-2 run by the Spartans to close the quarter cut Bluffton’s lead to 17-16 entering the second period.
Manchester went up 20-17 after hoops by Haley Farris and Nicole Farris. Following a three-minute scoring drought by both teams, the Beavers would score three straight buckets to take a 23-20 advantage with 4:50 left in the half. Bluffton went to the break with a slim 32-27 edge.
The visitors pushed ahead 39-30 after ABIGAIL O’DONNELL (Arcanum) drained a triple at the 6:51 mark of the third quarter. However, the Beavers wouldn’t be able to hold the lead for long as the Spartans cut the gap to 46-43. Bluffton responded with four unanswered to take a 50-43 lead entering the final stanza.
Bluffton extended its lead to double digits following a TJ MILLS (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) lay-in with 6:38 to go in regulation. A 13-4 run by Manchester pulled the home squad within one possession with less than 15 seconds to go. The Beavers close the game going 3-of-4 from the charity stripe and Manchester couldn’t get the final three to fall as Bluffton held on for the 62-59 nail-bitter.
It was a senior showcase as all three seniors finished in double digits. Abigail O’Donnell netted a career-high 15 points and grabbed five rebounds. MACEY SHEERER (Bucyrus) ripped down 14 boards while adding 12 points, four assists and three steals. Kaycee Rowe chipped in 13 points on an efficient 6-of-9 from the field to go along with six rebounds.
Bluffton finished 25-of-53 from the floor (47.2 percent) while Manchester was only able to hit 20-of-50 (40 percent) on field goals. While the Beavers struggled to knock down three-point shots (1-of-10), they were able to win the rebounding battle (33-30). The visitors dominated the paint, outscoring the home team 40-20 inside the key. Bluffton also capitalized with 24 points off turnovers.
The Beavers will cap off their three-game road trip at Transylvania on Saturday, Jan. 20, with tip-off set for 2 p.m.