Franklin 76, Bluffton 74
Franklin slips past Bluffton in Founders Hall, 76-74
By: Shannon Ramer, sports information assistant
December 13, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team hosted Franklin College in a Heartland Conference clash on December 13, 2008. The Beavers and the Grizzlies battled throughout the entire game before Franklin dropped in a pair of free throws with four ticks remaining for the 76-74 victory.
Bluffton junior Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) got to the glass for an easy bucket to open the first period. The Beavers controlled the first four minutes of the game until Franklin sophomore Brittany Wilson dialed long distance on three consecutive trips down the floor to give the Grizzlies an early 12-9 lead with 15:24 to play in the first half.
Over the next several minutes the Grizzlies tried to push their lead, but the Beavers kept fighting. Freshman Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) drilled a pair of three-pointers to keep Bluffton within four points (23-19) midway through the period.
A shot from beyond the arc by junior Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) allowed the Beavers to regain the lead with 7:14 on the clock before Buckingham pushed the advantage to three points 30 seconds later.
Wilson buried yet another long distance triple late in the half and Monica Planalp went coast to coast following a Courtney Zimmerman (Leesburg/Fairfield) putback as the Grizzlies took a 42-35 lead at the break.
The Grizzlies continued to control the contest until the 4:26 mark in the second half when Yoder made another three to tie the game at 66. A layin by freshman post Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) from junior Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) with 1:33 remaining on the clock gave the Beavers their first lead of the second stanza, 72-71.
Yoder made two free throws for the Beavers with 45 seconds remaining to make the score 74-71. After an old-fashioned three point play by the Grizzlies, Monica Planalp knocked in two free throws with four ticks remaining. Miller's last-second baseline jumper rimmed out as Franklin came away with a 76-74 win over the home team.
Buckingham led the Beavers with a team-high 18 points and game-high seven rebounds. Shellabarger had 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Yoder, who scored a career-high 16 points, had two boards and one steal, and finished 4-of-8 beyond the arc.
Bluffton shot 28-of-60 (46.7 percent) from the field, while Franklin hit 26-for-54 (48.1 percent) for the game. The Grizzlies were 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) on three-pointers while Bluffton enjoyed a 38-29 advantage on the glass.
Wilson paced Franklin with the game-high of 29 points, including a 6-for-9 shooting performance from beyond the arc. She tallied five boards, two assists, one block and two steals for the Grizzlies. Planalp added 14 points, seven assists, three rebounds and two steals. Traci Lippold contributed 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and one block.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 16, when Bluffton travels to Hiram College. The contest is slated to tip at 7 p.m.