Defiance 83, Bluffton 77
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
January 25, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team (2-16, 0-7 HCAC) fell to the Defiance College Yellow Jackets at Karl Weaner Auditorium by a final score of 83-77 on Wednesday, January 25, 2006. Defiance used a strong first half performance to pick up its second victory of the year in the Heartland Conference and fifth overall.
Ashleigh Stallkamp (Paulding/Paulding) and Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) hit consecutive jumpers to put the Beavers on top 4-2 just over one minute into the game. Kayla Mengerink knocked down a jumper at the 17:12 mark giving the Yellow Jackets a 9-4 advantage and forcing the Beavers to call a 30 second timeout less than three minutes into the contest. Bluffton responded with a 9-2 run which included two triples from Lee and a layup by Stallkamp. The Beavers took the lead 22-20 at the 12:17 mark when junior guard Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding) sliced her way to the hoop. The lead quickly evaporated as Defiance went on a 14-2 run over the next six minutes to open up a 34-24 advantage over the Beavers. Lee and Stallkamp answered again to trim the deficit to six points with 5:38 to play in the half. A Meghann Savard layup put the Jackets up 47-33 before Rickenberg hit consecutive baskets to cut the Defiance lead to 10 with 35 seconds left in the half. Melissa Headley gave the Yellow Jackets a 12-point cushion at the break when she connected just before the buzzer sounded.
Kara Jones scored seven unanswered points for Defiance to open the second half before Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) freed herself in the paint for two quick scores to trim the gap to 15 points with 17 minutes left in the contest. When Karin Schaller (Jenera/Arlington) hit at the 14 minute mark the Beavers trailed by only 11 (58-47). Bluffton still trailed by 13 with six minutes to play before the Beavers rolled off eight consecutive points to cut the margin to five points a minute later. Sarah Bird hit a long range triple to give the Yellow Jackets a 10-point advantage, but the Beavers were not finished. Schaller followed a Stallkamp trifecta with a bucket to pull the Beavers within five at the 1:33 mark. Defiance held on, despite six points from Lee during the final minute, to improve to 5-13 overall and 2-5 in the HCAC.
Lee exploded for her second career-high scoring night in three games as she led the Beavers with 30 points and pulled down six rebounds. She hit 12-of 21 from the field including 4-of-8 from long distance. Stallkamp tallied 19 points, six steals, six rebounds and two blocks for the Beavers. Rickenberg also hit for double digits as she finished with 10 points and five rebounds. Bush led Bluffton with eight boards.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, January 28, 2006 when it hosts HCAC foe Hanover College in the opening game of a women's and men's doubleheader in Founders Hall. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.