2012-13 Women's Basketball
Earlham 71, Bluffton 59
Earlham stuns Bluffton in 71-59 win over Beavers
January 23, 2013
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Bluffton University women headed to Richmond on Wednesday, Jan. 23, for an HCAC matchup with the Earlham College Quakers, looking for their fourth conference victory in five games. However, Emily Sells' 17 points and six rebounds helped send the visiting Beavers home with a 71-59 loss.
The visitors matched the Quakers point-for-point for the first five minutes of the game as Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington), Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) each scored for Bluffton to keep the game tied at six apiece.
Earlham went up 16-13 with nine minutes remaining in the half, but a Kurilec jumper at the 7:12 mark narrowed the margin to one. However, a three from Kiera Scott sent the Quakers on a 9-3 run that gave the home team a 25-18 lead with just over a minute left in the opening stanza. A Kurilec layup and a Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hiltop) free throw pulled the Beavers back within four before a Sells layin with three seconds on the clock gave the Quakers a 27-21 halftime lead.
Earlham came out in the second half on fire, going on a 9-0 jag while extending the lead to 36-21. Ruffer finally put in the first two Beaver points of the period with a layup at the 17:02 mark, but Earlham would maintain a double-digit lead until Whitaker hit two free throws 10 minutes later which made the score 52-43.
With 5:27 to play, freshman Carolin Baker (Bethel/Tate) drained a jumper that trimmed the Earlham lead to six, 53-47, but that was as close as the Beavers could get. The home squad answered with a quick 6-0 run to extend the lead to 12 with 3:59 remaining, and even after Ruffer countered with consecutive deuces, the Quakers were still able to push the lead to 14 en route to the 71-59 victory that evened the season series.
Kurilec finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds on an impressive 7-of-11 night from the field and 3-of-6 performance at the free throw line. Ruffer checked in with 16 points, six rebounds and three steals, while Whitaker finished with 14 points, two assists and two steals. Also scoring for the Beavers were Baker with nine points and Burkholder with three as only five Bluffton women made the scoring column.
Bluffton finished the night 24-of-54 from the field (44.4 percent), including 3-of-8 (37.5 percent) from behind the arc, and 8-of-16 at the free throw line. The home team pulled down 11 more boards (38-27) and committed one more turnover (30-29).
The loss dropped the Beavers to 9-9 and 4-7 in the HCAC, while Earlham collected just its third win (3-15) on the season, including their second win (2-9) in the conference.
Bluffton will be back in action at home on Saturday when the Beavers host Franklin College on Hall of Fame Day. The game is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. following the men's contest.