Bluffton 53, Hanover 35
Beavers dominate Hanover, 53-35, in 2006-07 finale
February 17, 2007
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team used its best defensive effort of the season in picking up a convincing 53-35 victory at Hanover in the regular season finale on Saturday, February 17, 2007. The Beavers limited the Panthers to 13 points in the first half and used a 19-3 run over the final 7:20 of the game to improve to 6-19 overall and 4-12 in the Heartland Conference. The Panthers fell to 3-21, 1-15 HCAC. Bluffton's 6-19 finish is the best for the women's program since 2000-01 when the Beavers ended the season 12-14 overall and 5-7 in the HCAC. It is also the first year since 2000-01 that Bluffton has not finished last in the Heartland Conference.
The second half was defined by changes in momentum. Hanover came out of the gate quickly, trimming the Beavers advantage to one point, 21-20, early in the second period thanks to four points from Angie Thieman and a Chloe Wonnell triple.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) capped a 7-0 Bluffton spurt which pushed the Beavers' lead back up to eight points, 28-20, less than six minutes into the second half.
Hanover responded with seven consecutive points before Angie Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) keyed a 25-8 jag over the final 10 minutes with 14 points, including a pair of deep triples, during a six-minute span.
Despite limiting Hanover to five baskets in the first half, Bluffton led by only six points, 19-13, at the break. Both teams struggled to control the ball as the Panthers and Beavers were plagued by turnovers and poor shooting.
Senior point guard Tanya Rickenberg (Paulding/Paulding) put Bluffton on the scoreboard first when she drilled a triple two minutes into the game. Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) pushed the lead to five before Angie Thieman hit a pair of free throws to make the score 5-2 early in the contest.
Amanda Bell (Napoleon/Liberty Center) found the range from outside the arc and Sarah Bruner (Wauseon/Pettisville) and Rickenberg both hit 1-of-2 from the charity stripe before the Panthers Kim Hardesty scored Hanover's first basket of the game with 11:00 to play in the half.
A Hardesty hoop and consecutive Rachel Walters baskets trimmed the deficit to two points, 10-8, at the 8:21 mark.
Lindsay Bush (Howard/East Knox), who sat much of the first half with foul trouble, found the basket for back-to-back scores and Angie Lee hit consecutive buckets late in the first half as the Beavers built a 19-13 lead at the end of the first stanza.
Angie Lee provided the offensive spark for the Beavers off the bench, finishing with a game-high 18 points. Tanya Rickenberg scored seven, bringing her career scoring mark to 1,241 points. Freshman Vicki Auer also knocked in seven points for the Beavers. Amanda Bell and Lindsay Ebbeskotte both chipped in with six points in the victory. Freshman Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton/Bluffton) led the Beavers with eight rebounds. Ebbeskotte and Bush hauled in seven boards each while Bush swatted away five Panther shots on the night.
With the victory, the Beavers finished their 2006-07 season with a 6-19 record, including a 4-12 mark in Heartland Conference action.