2011-12 Women's Basketball
Defiance 77, Bluffton 68
Jackets pull away late in 77-68 win over Bluffton
February 15, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team stayed with the Yellow Jackets for three quarters of the contest, but ran out of gas as Defiance pulled away in a 77-68 victory on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. The Beavers third straight setback dropped them to 8-16 overall (6-11 HCAC), while the Jackets upped their record to 9-13 (9-8 HCAC) and secured a berth in the upcoming Heartland Conference Tournament.
Junior Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) got Bluffton on the board early with a layup in the first minute. After Defiance moved ahead by as many as four, senior Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) completed a hoop and harm to tie the game at 13 with just over 14 minutes to play in the half.
The Yellow Jackets then responded with a six-point spurt and extended their lead to eight (28-20) at the 4:48 mark in the first period. Senior Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) canned two free throws and Lewis added a layup before the break but Bluffton still trailed 32-26 heading into the locker room.
Both teams came out of intermission and knew they were in for a battle. The Beavers grabbed the momentum early on as they chipped away at the lead and cut the deficit to one, 42-41, after a jumper by senior Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) with just under 12 minutes to play.
Defiance answered by scoring the next five points only to have Bluffton respond with five of their own which knotted the game up at 46 with 8:40 to play. Another five-point spurt, this time by the home team, put Defiance up for good with 7:58 to play.
Stegmaier drained a three at the 4:27 mark to pull the Beavers within four, 60-56, but fouls led to the Yellow Jackets knocking down 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the last 1:35 of the contest while pulling away for a 77-68 victory at home.
Daman led the Beavers with 16 points and four assists. Lewis and Hutton contributed 15 and 12 points, respectively. Stegmaier came off the bench after missing the last two games and added nine points.
Bluffton hit 25-of-53 (47.2 percent) from the field, compared to 24-of-57 (42.1 percent) for the Yellow Jackets. The Beavers converted 7-of-19 (36.8 percent) from distance, while Defiance was 4-of-14 (28.6) from behind the arc. The deciding factor in this battle was the 22 fouls committed by Bluffton which led to Defiance hitting 25-of-31 (80.6 percent) from the free throw line, including 17 more attempts than the Beavers who dropped in 11-of-14 (78.6 percent). Defiance turned the ball over 13 times and forced 17 miscues by the Beavers. The Jackets won the war on the glass, 37-27.
The Beavers host Transylvania in the regular season finale on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. The Senior Day contest is slated to tip at 2 p.m. in Founders Hall.