Bluffton tops Manchester in first-round of HCAC tourney


The Bluffton College women's basketball team made their home debut in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament a successful one Tuesday night, topping a visiting Manchester College squad 76-61 in Founders Hall.

Bluffton, the #3 seed in the tournament, will advance to the HCAC semi-finals Friday evening at Wilmington College at 6:00 p.m. against the #2 seed in the tourney, Franklin College, who won their first round game Tuesday night over Anderson University 69-54. BC knocked off Franklin just last Saturday 67-53, dropping Franklin from the top-spot in the HCAC regular season race which gave the league title to Wilmington.

Bluffton raced out to a 12-0 lead over Manchester and led 20-4 after seven minutes of play. The Beavers increased their lead to 21 points at halftime, 42-21, and went up by as many as 28 early in the second half. The closest the Grizzlies came to BC in the second half was 14 points.

Four players hit in double figures for Bluffton, led by Elizabeth Snavely with 23 points and nine rebounds. Kristy Crall scored 15 points and had five steals, while Kristin Helvey added 14 points and five assists. Jennifer Bear chipped in 13 points and collected nine boards.

Manchester (3-9 HCAC, 8-16) sees their season come to an end. Sarah Irish led the Grizzlies with 16 points.