Mt. Vernon Nazarene 99, Bluffton 67
Beavers fall to Mt. Vernon Nazarene in Tip-Off championship, 99-67
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
November 22, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team fell behind early and never led as the Beavers were defeated by Mt. Vernon Nazarene in the championship game of Bluffton's inaugural Tip-Off Tournament held in Founders Hall on Saturday, November 22, 2008. The Beavers dropped to 2-1 with the loss, while the Cougars improved to 5-0.
Mt. Vernon Nazarene took the lead early and never looked back as they went on a 10-1 run in the first three minutes of the game. Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) tried to slow the onslaught with a six points during the next five minutes of play and Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) capitalized on a three-point conversion, cutting the deficit to 12 points midway through the first half.
At the 4:40 mark, freshman guard Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) sank a trey. Layups from Miller and Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) reduced the Cougar lead to 26 points with just under four minutes to play in th the half.
Yoder once again hit from distance to make the score 49-24 in favor of MVNU. Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) picked up points from behind the arc with an assist from Lewis, making the halftime score 57-28.
The second stanza opened with another trey from Auer. At the 13:26 mark, Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) added three points the old-fashioned way before Shellabarger connected with Lindsay Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) for a hoop and harm. Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg) picked up a three point conversion at the 10:44 minute mark to cut the deficit to 27 points, 75-48.
With just over five minutes remaining in the game, Yoder drained her fourth trifecta of the game. Mandi Leemaster (Fremont/Old Fort) drilled a trey and Tiffani Pence (Jackson Center) sank two freebies with seconds dissipating from the clock as the Cougars handled the Beavers 99-67 in the championship contest of the Bluffton Tip-Off Tournament.
The Beavers were led by Emily Shellabarger, who was named to the All-Tournament team, with 12 points, eight boards, three blocks, and one assist. Beth Yoder tallied 12 points on four treys. Kim Miller chipped in 11 points, as well as finishing with four boards, four assists and three steals. Vicki Auer, who was also honored on the All-Tournament team, added six points, four rebounds and two assists for the Beavers.
The Cougars were paced by the Tip-Off Tournament MVP Rachel Fiely who produced a double-double with 27 points, 11 assists, five steals and four rebounds. Fiely is the sister of former Beavers' baseball standout Ryan Fiely, who graduated from Bluffton in 2005. Fellow All-Tournament member Amanda Himes had 21 points, eight boards, three steals and a block in the contest. Alexis Harkins, who drained four three-pointers, added 16 points, eight rebounds, five steals, and three blocks. Lauren Johnson contributed with 12 points, four steals, and one assist in the Cougar victory.
Bluffton shot 18-of-30 (60 percent) from the free throw line, compared to 16-of-20 (80 percent) for Mt. Vernon Nazarene. The Cougars converted six more shots from behind the arc, 13-7, as well as going 35-of-70 (50 percent) from the field, while the Beavers hit 21-of-50 (42 percent) for the game. Bluffton struggled to take care of the ball while committing 33 turnovers in the loss.
The Bluffton women will return to action on Tuesday, November 25, when the Beavers travel to Earlham College. The contest is slated to start at approximately 8 p.m.