Defiance 65, Bluffton 53
Yellow Jackets pick up first HCAC win over Bluffton, 65-53
December 6, 2006
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's team rallied in the second half, but a slow start kept the Beavers winless at Defiance on Wednesday, December 6, 2006, as the Yellow Jackets held on for the 65-53 victory. Bluffton stands at 0-7, 0-2 in the Heartland Conference, while Defiance improved to 4-2 and 1-2 in the HCAC.
A Mandy White layup and Sarah Bird three-pointer put the Yellow Jackets on top, 5-0, less than a minute into the game. Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding) and Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) countered with baskets to cut the deficit to three points, 7-4, with 17:22 to play in the first half.
Defiance used an 11-1 run over the next four minutes to open up a 13-point cushion, 18-5, at the 13:41 mark before freshman Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) hit from downtown to slow the Yellow Jackets.
An Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) trifecta closed the gap to 10 points, 24-14, with eight minutes to play in the opening stanza.
The Yellow Jackets responded with eight straight points for an 18-point lead. Rickenberg dialed long distance, trimming the deficit to 15 points with 5:47 on the clock. A pair of Auer free throws helped Bluffton reduce the Defiance advantage to 13 points, 36-23, at the half.
The Beavers struggled to start the second half as the Yellow Jackets outscored them, 9-2, over the first three minutes to take a 45-25 lead at the 16:51 mark.
Four free throws from Sarah Bruner (Wauseon/Pettisville) and an Amanda Bell layin helped the Beavers cut into the Defiance lead, 47-33, but a Kayla Mengerink jumper put Defiance back up by 18 points, 54-36, with less than eight minutes in the game.
Lee scored five consecutive points, and when Bell picked Mandy White and found Vicki Auer for the layup, the Beavers were down by only nine points, 56-47 with just over four minutes on the clock.
Another Lee layin had Bluffton within eight at the 1:48 mark, but the Jackets hit four free throws down the stretch to pick up their first HCAC win of the year, 65-53.
Bluffton was led by Angie Lee who hit 7-of-12 from the field for a game-high 19 points. Rickenberg also hit for double digits, knocking down 13 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Vicki Auer finished with a career-high nine points while Sarah Bruner led the Beavers with 10 boards. Deborah Smith (Lima/Perry) dished out three assists and Amanda Bell picked up three steals.
The Bluffton defense forced 22 Jacket turnovers, while the Beavers committed only 15 miscues on the offensive end. Defiance hit 20-of-43 from the field (47 percent) and limited Bluffton to 34 percent shooting (18-of-53).
The Beavers return to action when they travel to Rose-Hulman for the first game of a women's and men's doubleheader on Saturday, December 9, 2006. The women are scheduled to tip-off at 1 p.m.