2011-12 Women's Basketball
Thomas More 69, Bluffton 44
Thomas More improves to 8-1 with 69-44 win over Beavers
December 20, 2011
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell to Thomas More College on Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Bluffton slipped to 2-7 overall following the non-conference contest, while Thomas More improved to 8-1 on the season.
Thomas More jumped out to an early lead, hitting a three-pointer less than 10 seconds into the game. The Beavers stayed with the Saints and at the 15:09 mark, Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) tied the game up at nine with a triple of her own from fellow senior Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee).
The Saints began to pull ahead over the next seven minutes. Sophomore Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) cut Thomas More's lead to seven (19-12) with a layup off a slick feed from Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity). The Saints took control with a 14-5 run over the final eight minutes of the half, opening up a comfortable 33-17 advantage at the break.
Lewis put the ball in the net to cut the Saints lead to 14 just 37 seconds into the second period. Once again the Saints had an answer, stretching their lead to 23 with 13:05 to play. A jumper from junior Francena Tate (Fostoria/ St. Wendelin) cut the deficit to 21.
Senior Beth Yoder (Marshallville/ Smithville) added a make from distance just 30 seconds later. At the 11:12 mark, freshman Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/ Gilead Christian) picked off a Thomas More pass and went in for a layup to cut the Saints lead to 18 points (47-29).
The Saints retaliated with five points of their own. Another three-pointer by Yoder and a layup by Lewis kept the Beavers within striking distance, but Thomas More controlled the final eight minutes for a 69-44 victory over the home team in Founders Hall.
Lewis led the Beavers with eight points. Lauren Hutton (New Riegal) added seven markers while Kurilec and Yoder each contributed six points. Burkholder led the Beavers with a career-high 11 rebounds. Katie Kitchen paced the Saints with 18 points (5-of-17 from the field), 10 boards and two assists.
Bluffton hit just 14-of-60 (23.3 percent) from the field, compared to 21-of-60 (35 percent) for the visitors. The Beavers struggled to a 3-of-18 (16.7 percent) night from behind the arc, while Thomas More converted 5-of-14 (35.7 percent). The home team knocked down 13-of-21 (61.9 percent) at the line, while the Saints made 22-of-28 (78.6 percent) at the charity stripe. The visitors turned the ball over 11 times but also forced 14 miscues.
The Beavers travel to Otterbein on Wednesday, Dec. 28, where they will meet the Cardinals in the Smokey Ballenger Classic. The contest is slated for 6 p.m.