bc 67, hc 103
Bluffton vs. HanoverGame date: Saturday, January 25
Game time: 1 p.m.
[ Live Webcast ]
[ Live audio at www.wdoh.com ]
Setting the scene
Saturday's game is the start of a three game home stand for Bluffton, all of which will be Heartland Conference games. Today's game wraps up a three game road trip for the Panthers which has produced one win and one loss so far.
Hanover leads the all-time series against Bluffton 7-3 which dates back to the 1997-98 season. Hanover has won the last four meetings against Bluffton. Hanover also leads the series when playing in Founders Hall 3-1.
Bluffton is led by first year head coach Amanda Curtis, who at 23 years old is the youngest collegiate head women's basketball coach in the country. Curtis was a graduate assistant with the University of Akron last season after two years as a student coach for Albion College. Hanover is led by head coach Molly Jones, who tallied a 13-12 record last season and has matched the Hanover record 17 wins in a season twice.
Bluffton is now 1-15 on the season, 0-7 in the HCAC, and is aiming for its first home win of the season today. Hanover is currently 7-8 overall record and a 3-4 mark in the HCAC. The Panthers are 5-4 on the road this season.
Hanover won both games over Bluffton last season as the Panthers won in Founders Hall 77-52 on Dec.1 and at Hanover 75-47 on Jan. 19. In the game here in Founders Hall, Bluffton took an early five point lead thanks to a 9-0 run but were unable to hold on in the second half despite increasing their field goal percentage by 10%. The game in Hanover was much the same. Bluffton was unable to recover from an 19 point deficit at half despite a 11% increase in shooting from the field in the second half. Lindsay Bacon led Bluffton with 14 points while Lyndsey Robinson added 12.
Bluffton is coming off an 84-50 loss at Defiance College Wednesday night. The game was highlighted by the play of Bluffton senior Heather Demery who tied two career highs with nine points and six rebounds. The Beavers were able to dominate Defiance on the boards 48-27 but Defiance's plus 50% shooting from the field prevented the Beavers from getting the win. Hanover is coming of a 69-54 win at Anderson Wednesday night as Laura Little led the Panthers with 19 points.
James now in top 10
Bluffton senior Melissa James is playing in her 94th career game Saturday, which ties her for 6th place in career games played. James has played in every varsity game so far in her career at BC. Jenny (Etzler) Fledderjohnn holds the BC record for games played with 102.
Seniors Melissa James (10.8 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Lyndsey Robinson(10.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) lead Bluffton in scoring and rebounding, while junior Karen Harris (7.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg) leads the team in steals with 30, which ranks 9th in the HCAC. Senior Paula Fry leads BC in assists with 36.
The Panthers are led by senior guard/forward Tessa Wynn who is averaging 17.0 points per game and 8.9 rebounds per game. Wynn also leads the Panthers in steals with 41. Sophomore forward Laura Little adds 15.3 points per game for the Pioneers while freshman guard Susan Kolls adds 10.1 points per game from the bench.
HCAC team rankings
Bluffton ranks third in offensive rebounds (14.31 orpg) and has established a +3.1 rebounding margin, which ranks third in the HCAC. Bluffton also ranks third in defending the three-pointer, allowing their opponents to shoot only .310 from behind the arc. Hanover, meanwhile, leads the league in scoring offense (75.3) and free throw percentage (.755).