Bluffton 79, Defiance 74
Beavers take down rival Defiance College on the road, 79-74
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
January 21, 2009
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team knocked off HCAC-rival Defiance College, 79-74, on Wednesday, January 21, 2009. With the win the Beavers improved to 11-6 overall and 3-5 in the conference, surpassing Coach Shutler's season-best 10 victories from a year ago. The Jackets fell to 6-11, including a 2-7 record in the Heartland Conference. Bluffton's victory was the first at Defiance since Jan. 20, 1982, breaking a string of 28 consecutive losses to the Yellow Jackets on the road.
Freshman guard Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) dropped in Bluffton's first five points of the contest, her only points of the game, with a layup and a trey. Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) drove to the bucket for two. A Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) layup and a jumper from Shellabarger put the Beavers up 13-12 less than six minutes into the game.
With 13:13 showing on the clock, Ruble scored from behind the arc thanks to a pass from Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's). A pair of Katie Lord (Toledo/Whitmer) free throws improved the Bluffton edge to 20-15. Two Miller drives stabilized the five-point lead. With just over six minutes left in the first half, Shellabarger connected with senior post Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) for two points. Less than one minute later, Lindsay Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) upped the lead to 10 with a three-pointer.
At the three-minute mark, Ebbeskotte once again buried a trey and teammate Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg) responded with a three-pointer of her own. Miller drove to the hole for a 39-22 Bluffton lead before the Jackets retaliated with a 7-0 rally to end the first half.
Shellabarger sparked the Beavers' offense to open the second stanza when she hit a jumper, and Miller then followed with two points. Buckingham drove to the bucket to make the score 47-38. With just under 13 minutes on the clock, Miller added two more points and a Ruble layup kept the Bluffton lead at six points.
At the 8:44 mark, freshman Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) got to the glass for two points. Minutes later, junior Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) hit from distance to forge a six-point lead.
Miller converted a hoop and harm for a 72-68 Bluffton lead before Molly Bateman made it a one-point game with her three-pointer. Following a Buckingham deuce and another Defiance three-ball by Tasha Stucke, the game was knotted at 74 with 1:29 to play. Lewis hit a layup and she added two freebies after a Shellabarger charity toss with 12 seconds remaining as the Bluffton women pulled out the 79-74 victory at Defiance.
Emily Shellabarger paced the Beavers with 15 points and 11 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. Shellabarger also swatted away three Defiance shots and dished out two assists. Kim Miller scored 15 points. She also hauled in seven boards and picked up two steals. Ginny Buckingham tallied 13 points, four rebounds and two steals, while teammate Becky Ruble chipped in nine points and three boards. Vicki Auer and Lindsay Ebbeskotte came up with two steals each, and Auer grabbed four rebounds in the contest.
The Jackets were led by Shavonda Price with 20 points, four rebounds, two steals, an assist and a block. Mandie White added 12 points and four boards. Katie Carunchia led the Jackets defensively with six rebounds, while Brooke Zachrich and Tasha Stucke handed out five assists each.
Bluffton hit 30-of-52 (57.7 percent) from the field, while the home team made just 26-of-65 (40 percent). The Beavers snatched eight more rebounds (36-28) than the Jackets. Defiance led in triples (8-6) but both teams were closely matched at the charity stripe as Bluffton made 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) and Defiance hit 14-of-18 (77.8 percent).
Bluffton University women's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 24, when the Beavers host HCAC rival Rose-Hulman. The Hall of Fame contest is scheduled to tip at 1 p.m. in Founders Hall and it will be followed by the men's matchup against the Engineers at 3 p.m.