2012-13 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 78, Manchester 73
Bluffton rallies from 24 down for 78-73 win at Manchester
January 16, 2013
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team overcame a 24-point deficit in the second half to stun Manchester, 78-73, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. The Beavers improved to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the Heartland Conference with their third straight victory. Manchester fell to 6-10 on the year and 5-4 in the HCAC.
Manchester got the game started with 10 unanswered points before Bluffton called a timeout to break the momentum. Following the quick respite, Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) got the Beavers on the scoreboard with a layup off an assist from Brooke Ruffer (Stryker). However, Manchester continued to control the action, forcing another Bluffton timeout with the Spartans up 21-9 at the 11:35 mark.
The Beavers were able to close the gap to eight with 7:10 on the clock following a pair of Ruffer free throws, making the score 25-17. Manchester closed the first half on a 14-5 run to make the halftime score 39-22.
A jumper by Manchester with 17:23 left gave the home team its largest lead of the night at 24 (49-25). A hoop and harm by Hutton was the start of the Beaver comeback. Following a steal by Ruffer, Rachel Debord (Lebanon) hit a three which resulted in Manchester calling time as the score sat at 49-31.
Out of the timeout Hutton came up with a steal and freshman Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) hit from distance, closing the gap to 15 with 15:43 left. A jumper by Ruffer with just under nine minutes to play gave the Beavers the lead for the first time as their 28-2 run put them up 53-51.
Two free throws by the Spartans tied it at 53 before a three-ball from Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and a layup by Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) put the Beavers up, 58-53. The visitors never relinquished the lead as an amazing 39-5 jag over a 12-minute span propelled the Beavers to an unlikely 78-73 victory.
The offense was led by freshman sensation Brooke Ruffer as she dropped in 17 points, ripped down nine rebounds and dished out five assists. Fellow freshman Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) added a career-best 15 points while handing out a career-high nine dimes. Rachel Debord added 11 counters of her own. Lauren Hutton and Brenna Kurilec each chipped in with nine points.
Bluffton hit 16-of-25 (72.0 percent) from the field in the second half, including 6-of-8 (75.0 percent) from outside the arc. For the game, the Beavers shot 60 percent (9-of-15) from the three-point line. The team finished with 22 assists and a season-low 12 turnovers, compared to Manchester's 22 assists and 18 turnovers.
The Beavers return to action Saturday, Jan. 19, when they travel to Rose-Hulman. The tip is set for 1 p.m. at Terre Haute, Ind.