Bluffton 81, Earlham 59
Bluffton pulls away in second half for 81-59 win at Earlham
November 25, 2008
RICHMOND, Ind. - Although Bluffton trailed 37-34 at the half, the Beavers outscored host Earlham College 47-22 in the second stanza to post an 81-59 victory over the Quakers on Tuesday, November 25, 2008. The Beavers improved to 3-1 on the season, while Earlham remains winless at 0-3.
Junior forward Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) hit from in close to give the Beavers an early 2-0 lead just one minute into the contest. Both teams struggled to string any buckets together until Lindsay Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) followed a Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) layin with a deep triple thanks to a Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) dime.
After Cara Clarke knotted the contest at 16 Bluffton responded with three straight hoops, including back-to-back Buckingham scores which made it 22-16 with eight minutes to play in the half.
A Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) tip-in and an old-fashioned three-point play by Buckingham allowed the Beavers to open a seven-point lead with 5:35 to play, but a 10-1 run by the Quakers over the next two minutes gave Earlham a 32-31 lead at the 3:22 mark.
Ebbeskotte sank a pair from the stripe and Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) got to the rack as Earlham took a 37-34 lead over the Beavers at halftime.
Following a Tasha Merrill score to open half two, the Beavers rallied for 13 consecutive points, including four from freshman post Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's), as Bluffton turned a five-point deficit into an eight-point lead in less than four minutes.
Buckingham nailed four straight from the charity stripe and when Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg) knocked down a jumper with 10:54 to play in the game, Bluffton saw its lead balloon to 14 points (56-42).
The Quakers were within 10 points (67-57) at the 5:06 mark before the Bluffton defense took over and the Beavers finished the game on a 14-2 spurt for the final score of 81-59.
Buckingham and Miller dropped in 17 points apiece to lead the Beavers. Miller ripped down a team-high 11 boards for her second career double-double. She also picked up three steals while shooting 7-for-12 from the field. Emily Shellabarger had a monster performance with 15 points (9-of-10 at the line), seven rebounds and six blocks. Ebbeskotte chipped in with 13 points, four rebounds and a pair of assists.
Tasha Merrill and Nikki Darrett dropped in 17 and 16 points, respectively, to pace the Quakers.
Bluffton hit 29-of-67 from the field (43.3 percent) and a superb 19-for-21 at the free throw line (90.5 percent). The Beavers committed just 13 turnovers while forcing Earlham into 23 miscues. Bluffton finished the night with a 42-35 edge on the glass.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, November 29, 2008 when they travel to the College of Wooster. The contest is slated to tip at 2 p.m.