BC women hold late leads but fall twice in HCAC actionBy Tim Stried
December 9, 2002
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Dec. 12), The Witmarsum (Dec. 13), Alumni e-newsletter (Dec. 10), but you read it here first.
The Bluffton College women's basketball team began play on the road in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Association last week and held leads in the second half of both their games, but the Beavers dropped both contests to fall to 0-6 overall and 0-2 in the HCAC.
Senior Melissa James leads the team with 12.5 points per game and netted a career-tying 20 points in both games last week. Junior Karen Harris ranks second on the squad with 10.3 points per game and leads BC with 11 assists and 15 steals.
Bluffton is in the middle of a six straight road games and will travel to Mt. St. Joseph Sat., Dec. 14, for a 2 p.m. tip-off against the Lions. The Beavers travel to Lake Erie College on Mon., Dec. 16.
Bluffton led by as many as 26 points in the first half but saw host Manchester come all the way back to take a 62-61 win over the Beavers last Wednesday night.
Bluffton went on a 23-0 run that spanned nine minutes in the first half that put the Beavers up 34-8 with 3:47 left before halftime. Manchester knocked that deficit down to 16 points at halftime as BC held a 38-22 lead at the intermission.
Manchester gradually chipped away at Bluffton's lead in the second half and took their first lead of the game at 60-59 with just 51 seconds remaining. BC junior Karen Harris, who scored a career-high 22 points in the game, gave the lead back to the Beavers with a layup with 35 seconds to go, but Manchester quickly gained the lead back for the game's final score at 62-61.
Manchester's second half comeback was aided by opportunities at the free throw line. In the first half the Spartans were 2-for-3 from the line, but in the second half Bluffton was whistled for 15 personal fouls, which sent Manchester to the line 24 times. The Spartans converted on 19 of those chances.
Harris added six rebounds and five steals to go along with her new high scoring total, while senior Melissa James tied her career high with 20 points. She collected seven rebounds and three steals, while senior Lyndsey Robinson chipped in 13 points and grabbed six boards.
Bluffton established new season highs in points (61), field goals made (24), field goal percentage (.429), free throw percentage (.714) and blocked shots (4). The Beavers out-rebounded Manchester 40-30.
James tied her career scoring high for the second game in a row with 20 points, but Bluffton was defeated 63-47 at Hanover Saturday afternoon.
For the first 30 minutes of the game Bluffton played even with the HCAC leaders and trailed by just two points at 41-39 with 9:36 to play, but the Beavers were out-scored 22-8 from that point on. A 3-pointer from James and a layup from Harris gave Bluffton a 14-12 lead with 10:47 left in the first half and a 3-pointer from senior Kristen Siller, the first of her career, tied the score at 23-23 with 46 seconds left before halftime.
Hanover (4-1, 1-0 HCAC) took a 25-23 lead at the intermission, but a 5-0 run by the Beavers early in the second half gave BC a 30-29 lead with 15:26 to play. Bluffton led again 32-31 and then 34-33 with 13:10 remaining to mark their last lead of the game.
James was the only Beaver in double-figures, while Siller and senior Lyndsey Robinson chipped in seven points each.