Manchester 75, Bluffton 60
Bluffton drops first HCAC contest of 2005-06 at Manchester 75-60
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
January 4, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell to 2-10 on the season with a 75-60 loss at Manchester (9-3, 1-0) on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams. The Beavers struggled from the field as they hit only 23-61 shots (38 percent), including 1-13 from outside the three-point arc.
Both teams struggled to find the hoop in the early stages of the game, but the Spartans quickly found their range and opened up a 10-2 lead over Bluffton at the 15 minute mark of the first half when Sarah Bose picked off a Beaver pass and took it in for the score. Sophomores Ashleigh Stallkamp (Paulding/Paulding) and Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) each hit a pair of baskets from in close to help the Beavers crawl back to within six points (16-10) less than two minutes later. Stacey Wendel capped an eight point Manchester run when she freed herself in the paint to put the Spartans up 24-10. Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) and Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) both hit a pair of shots from the charity stripe to keep the Beavers within striking range 30-18 with less than five minutes to play in the first half. Heather Terflinger finished an 11-4 Spartan run when she knocked down a jumper with just under a minute on the clock. Stallkamp countered with a trifecta to help the Beavers close to within 16 points (41-25) at the half.
Back-to-back layups by Stallkamp and Bush closed the gap to 12 points three and a half minutes into the second half. Wendel dialed long distance to cap a 14-7 Spartan run which put Manchester up 59-40 midway through the second stanza. Bush scored eight of Bluffton's 11 points during a three minute span to whittle the Spartan advantage to nine (62-53) at the five minute mark. Junior guard Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding) found the hoop twice in the waning minutes of the game but it was not enough as Manchester held on to take the first HCAC contest of 2006 by a final score of 75-60.
Bush paced the Beavers with her third career double-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds. Stallkamp also posted her third career double-double, 18 points and 11 boards. She finished with five steals against the Spartans. Freshman Lauren Fisher (Cincinnati/Turpin) chipped in with four points and three steals.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, January 7, 2006 when it travels to Hanover College. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.