Transylvania 73, Bluffton 54
Transylvania dominates Bluffton 73-54 to complete season sweep
February 14, 2009
LEXINGTON, Kentucky - Transylvania took advantage of a struggling Bluffton offense to put away the Beavers for the second time this season with a convincing 73-54 win on Saturday, February 14, 2009. After Bluffton knotted the game at 17 with 8:07 to play in the first half, Transy used a 13-1 spurt to take control. With the loss, Bluffton fell to 13-10 overall and 5-9 in the Heartland Conference, while the Pioneers' win vaulted them into a tie with Anderson for first place in the HCAC at 12-2. Transylvania upped its overall mark to 18-5 on the year.
A Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) three-pointer put the Beavers up 5-2 with just over 16 minutes to play in the first half. However, 15 seconds later freshman standout Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) picked up her second foul of the game, relegating her to a seat on the sideline for the next 15 minutes. Three Bluffton turnovers and three fouls allowed the Pioneers to score five straight points before the Beavers could get the ball across midcourt.
Freshman Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) answered a Jackie Distler triple with deep ball of her own to keep the Beavers within two points (14-12) midway through the first stanza. With 8:07 to play in the half, junior Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) delivered her fifth straight point to tie the score at 17.
Brittany Henderlight responded with six straight Transy points to make the score 23-17 just two minutes later. Another Buckingham freebie was the only point Bluffton put on the scoreboard during a five-minute span as the Pioneers bolted to a 30-18 lead at the 3:11 mark. Sophomore Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) converted a tip-in and Buckingham drained a pair of foul shots before a second Yoder bomb cut the deficit to seven points (32-25) with 1:39 to play in the half. The home team used a Kelsey McCarty stickback to take a 34-26 lead into the break.
Shellabarger hit a jumper and Ruble dialed long distance early in period two but Transy continued its offensive assault, building a 47-31 lead before freshman Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) got to the rack for a deuce at the 14:32 mark. She then stepped outside for a long-range trifecta to cut the Transy lead to 15 points (51-36).
The Pioneers kept the pressure on and never let the visitors back into the contest as Transy outscored the Beavers 22-18 over the final 13 minutes to seal a 73-54 victory on Senior Night at the Beck Center.
Ginny Buckingham paced the Beavers with 12 points, six boards and two steals. Shellabarger, Miller and Ruble all chipped in with eight points and Shellabarger ripped down a game-high eight rebounds. Miller and freshman Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) both dished out three assists in the loss.
Jackie Distler led five Pioneers in double figures with 15 points and eight rebounds. Kelsey McCarty and Holly Milburn both added 12 points in the victory.
Bluffton converted on just 20-of-54 (37.0 percent) from the field, while Transy hit 26-of-59 (44.1 percent). Both teams made six three-pointers, but the Beavers attempted seven more (22-15). The visitors made 8-of-12 at the line compared to 15-of-20 for the Pioneers. Bluffton coughed it up 19 times, seven more turnovers than the Pioneers committed.
Bluffton returns to action on Wednesday, February 18, when the Beavers host long-time rival Defiance College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.