2008-09 Women's Basketball
Hanover 110, Bluffton 102 (OT)
Hanover ends Bluffton's season with 110-102 overtime victory
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
February 24, 2009
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team saw its season draw to a close in the opening round of the HCAC Tournament. The Beavers dropped a hard fought overtime contest on the road at Hanover by a score of 110-102 on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.
Junior Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) hit a jumper at the 17:56 mark thanks to an assist from Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's), giving Bluffton a 5-4 lead. Buckingham converted another layup minutes later to give Bluffton a three-point lead, but Hanover answered back with a Lacey Hornaday three-ball, tying the game at nine.
At the 12:23 mark, Bluffton grabbed their second lead of the game, as Buckingham found freshman Emily Shellabarger (St.Marys/Memorial) for a layup, giving the Beavers a slim 14-13 advantage.
The Beavers established a three-point lead with a triple by freshman Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee), making the score 20-17. Junior Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) followed with a three-pointer on Bluffton's next possession to give the visitors a 23-17 lead with 10:06 left in the half.
With 6:54 left on the clock, Molly Martin pulled Hanover to within two points with a good jumper, making the score 29-27 in favor of Bluffton. Bluffton called a thirty-second timeout to slow the onslaught, but the visitors soon found themselves down by four, 37-33, after Abby Schmahl knocked down a jumper.
Emily Shellabarger helped Bluffton forge a tie, and then regain the lead on the same play as she made a layup and was fouled for an old-fashioned three-point play. The Beavers led at this point 39-38 with 2:31 left before the half.
With less than 10 seconds to go in the first half, Ginny Buckingham tied the game for the eighth time with a jumper. Just as quickly as the game had been tied, the Beavers found themselves down by two points with a buzzer-beater by Holly Vogel which made it 46-44 in favor of Hanover at the break.
A Shellabarger layup tied the game on Bluffton's opening possession of period two, but Hanover quickly established a seven-point lead at 55-48 thanks to a Torin Franz three-ball.
At the 12:50 mark Buckingham picked up a steal and Kim Miller knocked down a jump shot on the other end, trimming Hanover's lead to 66-58.
Brittany Lewis drained another big three-pointer for Bluffton on its next possession, pulling the Beavers within five, 66-61. With 10:33 left, Bluffton knotted the game at 66 on a Shellabarger layup.
Miller gave Bluffton a two-point lead (76-74) when she converted on both of her free throws at the 5:59 mark. Hanover stormed back to take an 83-78 lead until Bluffton's Vicki Auer hit from distance, making the score 83-81 in favor of Hanover with 3:36 left.
Bluffton took a timeout at the 2:07 mark as the visitors trailed by two, 87-85. Out of the time out, the Beavers were able to tie the game with a basket by Vicki Auer with just 1:15 left in regulation. That hoop would be the last points scored in regulation as both teams missed a flurry of shots at the end of the second half, culminating with a Lacey Hornaday layup that was blocked by Vicki Auer.
In the extra period, Hanover struck first. Molly Martin hit from in close on Hanover's first possession to make the score 89-87. Bluffton responded with an Emily Shellabarger layup and free throw conversion as she was fouled, giving Bluffton a 90-89 advantage with 4:26 left in overtime. That would be the last time the Beavers were on top. Hanover took the lead for good on the next possession when Abby Schmahl got to the rack for a layup.
The Beavers simply could not keep Hanover off the free throw stripe in the extra session, as they fell to Hanover 110-102. The Beavers were outscored in the paint, 30-18. Leading the Beavers in points was Emily Shellabarger, who capped off a very successful first year for Bluffton basketball, scoring 24 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the charity stripe. Her 406 points this season broke Tanya Rickenberg's freshman scoring mark of 391 set in 2003-04.
Also putting up big games for Bluffton were Kim Miller who scored a career-high 23, and Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) who also contributed a career-high 18 off the bench on 4-of-9 shooting from outside the arc. Brittany Lewis and Vicki Auer hit for 11 points each to complete Bluffton's quintet of double-figure scorers. Lewis dropped five dimes to lead Bluffton and Miller dished out four assists in the loss. Bluffton continued to shoot well from the free throw line, going 19-for-23 (82.6 percent) for the game.
Hanover was led by Molly Martin who scored 25 points to go along with her game-high 10 rebounds. Torin Frantz tallied 18 markers and Abby Schmahl and Lacey Hornaday both chipped in with 15 points as the Panthers placed six players in double digits. Hanover turned the ball over 22 times, while Bluffton coughed it up just 14 times. The Panthers cleaned the glass to the tune of a 51-30 advantage on the boards, including 22 offensive caroms.
Hanover advances to the HCAC tournament semi-finals where the Panthers will lock horns with number two seed Anderson University on Friday, February 27, at Transylvania University.