Adrian College 73, Bluffton 54
Second half lull cost Beavers as Adrian downs Bluffton 73-54
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
January 2, 2006
The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell to 2-9 with a 73-54 loss at Adrian College (4-7) on Friday, December 30, 2005. The Beavers knocked home 14-26 shots (54 percent) in the first half but the Adrian defense held them to 8-30 for a meager 27 percent from the field in the second stanza.
Senior Karin Schaller (Jenera/Arlington) put Bluffton on the board first when she knocked down a short jumper 10 seconds into the game. After a two-minute scoring drought by both teams, Adrian went on a 14-2 run, thanks to four Bluffton turnovers, which gave the Bulldogs a 10-point lead with 14 minutes to play in the half. Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox) and Schaller both found the hoop to trim the Bulldog advantage to six less than a minute later. Following an Anna Lizon jumper, Schaller hit consecutive baskets to move Bluffton to within three points (17-14) midway through the first half. Another stretch of three Bluffton turnovers sandwiched around an Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) triple allowed Adrian to take its largest lead of the initial stanza (29-19) with five and a half minutes to play. Freshman guard Lauren Fisher (Cincinnati Turpin) slowed the Bulldog momentum when she converted a three-point play the old fashioned way at the 5:15 mark. Angie Lee (Mount Blanchard/Vanlue) followed a Schaller jumper with a long range trifecta to again pull the Beavers to within three points with a minute to play in the first half before Nichole Roose hit a free throw to send the Beavers to the break down 36-32.
Points were hard to come by early in the second half as Bluffton found itself down 46-35 before junior Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding) hit from outside the arc to close the cap to eight points at the 14 minute mark. Thera McCall capped a six-point Bulldog run when she nailed a three-pointer with 12 minutes remaining in the game. Bluffton trimmed the Adrian lead to 10 after a basket by Sarah Bruner (Wauseon/Pettisville) and consecutive hoops from Bush. The Beavers were still within striking distance (59-48) with eight minutes to play, but a four and a half minute scoreless stretch ended all hopes of a comeback as Adrian built a 19-point lead (67-48) during that span. Bell scored three points and freshman Lacie Sage (Big Prairie/Central Christian) sank a free throw in the final two minutes as the Beavers fell to Adrian 73-54.
Bluffton was led by Bell who put up 12 points. She was joined in double digits by Schaller who scored 10 points, all in the first half. Ashleigh Stallkamp (Paulding/Paulding) finished the night with six points, five rebounds and a team-high three steals. Rickenberg dished out a team-high five assists while scoring seven points. Lee and Bush also hauled in five boards apiece. The Beavers and Bulldogs both turned the ball over 16 times but Adrian hit 7-13 from long distance while the Beavers struggled from the field (22-56) and the charity stripe (7-21).
Bluffton will return to action on Wednesday, January 4, 2006 when it travels to Manchester to face the Spartans in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.