Wheaton holds on for 80-76 win over Beavers in Bluffton Tip-Off finals
November 21, 2009
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team came up short in
the championship game of the 2009 Bluffton Tip-Off Tournament. The Wheaton College
Thunder took the game by a score of 80-76. Bluffton's record now stands at 2-1, while
Wheaton improved to 2-1.
Bluffton's Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) got the first bucket of the game just eleven seconds in
as she hit a three-pointer for the 3-0 lead. Although the Beavers struck first, Wheaton
responded with its first lead of the game at the 18:29 mark when tournament MVP Breanna Bohlen hit a jumper, giving the Thunder a 6-5 advantage.
Junior Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) stepped to the free throw line with 14:12 left in the first
half and converted both free throws, giving Bluffton a 12-11 lead. Miller led the
charge at the line as she made 12-of-17 on the night. At the 12:08 mark, Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) set up Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) for a triple, pushing Bluffton's lead to 17-13.
Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) came up with a steal on Wheaton's next possession, leading to a
Vicki Auer three-pointer from Kirstie Runion (Cincinnati/Cin. Christian) that gave the Beavers a 20-13 lead midway through the
Wheaton's Lindsey Brenneman got to the hoop at the 8:16 mark, making the score 23-21 in favor of Bluffton. With
6:58 left before the half, Breanna Bohlen forced the game's second tie as she hit
two free throws, making the score 23-23.
Kirstie Runion stepped to the foul line with five seconds left and made both free
throws to give Bluffton a 36-35 lead. The Thunder went right down the court as Wheaton's
Brooke Olson found her way into the lane and hit a layup that beat the buzzer, giving Wheaton
a one-point advantage at the half.
The Thunder came out of the half and grabbed a four-point lead following a Breanna
Bohlen three-pointer. At the 17:38 mark, Brittany Stegmaier trimmed the deficit to two points (42-40) when she knocked down a jumper following
a Wheaton turnover. Moments later, another Wheaton three pushed the Thunder advantage
to seven points, 49-42, this one by Sarah Jones at the 15:53 mark.
With 14:03 left, the Beavers answered with a three of their own to cut into the deficit.
Beth Yoder connected from beyond the arc, this time assisted by Vicki Auer. A pair
of Ginny Buckingham free throws at the 9:18 mark made the score 61-56 in favor of
The Beavers knotted the game late at 68 with two free throws from Kim Miller. The
last tie of the game came with 1:11 left following a Ginny Buckingham layup. That
would prove to be the last chance for Bluffton, as the Beavers couldn't find a big
shot to put them ahead and Wheaton converted four of their final six foul shots, giving
them the 80-76 win.
Kim Miller led the way for Bluffton, as the junior scored 16 points while dishing
out a team-high seven assists. Vicki Auer and Ginny Buckingham both contributed 15
points on the night. Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) came off the bench to grab a team-high seven rebounds.
Lissie McAlvey paced Wheaton, scoring 20 points and pulling down six rebounds, both team highs en
route to a spot on the Bluffton Tip-Off All-Tournament squad. Bluffton shot 47.1 percent
from the field, while Wheaton hit 45.6 percent from the field. The Beavers committed
20 turnovers, two more than Wheaton.
Bluffton returns to action on November 24 when they host Earlham College at 7 p.m.