Bluffton 56, Trine 49
Bluffton rallies in second half for 56-49 win at Trine
December 22, 2008
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team struggled to find its rhythm in the first half, but the Beavers outscored Trine 38-25 after the break for a 56-49 win over the Thunder on Monday, December 22, 2008. Bluffton won its third straight in improving to 8-3 on the season while Trine fell to 5-5 with the loss.
Trine jumped out to a 6-0 lead less than two minutes into the contest and pushed its advantage to 12-4 with 15:19 to play in the half following a Sarah Howe layup. Freshman Emily Shellabarger (St. Mary's/Memorial) answered with her third hoop of the game and Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) followed with a jumper which cut the deficit to four thanks to an assist from Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg).
The Bluffton defense stepped up to the challenge and limited the Thunder to just six points over the next nine minutes while the Beavers whittled away at Trine's lead. An old fashioned three-point play by Miller with 4:10 to go in the first period knotted the score at 18 before a pair of Trine triples made the score 24-18 at the half.
Shellabarger dropped in a pair from the charity stripe and she hauled in a Bluffton miss before Vicki Auer (Cincinnati/Roger Bacon) found freshman Becky Ruble (Grover Hill/Wayne Trace) for one of her career-high four trifectas on the night. After a Trine bucket, Miller scored four straight points to give Bluffton its first lead of the night, 27-26.
Howe, who paced Trine with 16 points, answered with a fast break score before Ginny Buckingham (Bluffton) dropped in her first deuce of the contest with just under 14 minutes to play. Alicia Amis intercepted a Trine pass and went coast to coast for a hoop and harm, giving Bluffton a 32-28 lead.
Ginny Buckingham scored three points and Shellabarger made her presence known with a chip shot in the paint as Bluffton pushed its lead to 37-30 midway through the second half. A Liz Gehrig triple cut the Bluffton lead to one point, but Ruble again dialed long distance to make it 41-37 with 7:52 to play.
Ruble hit from in close and Kim Miller dropped in a deuce before a deep Ruble trifecta gave Bluffton its largest lead of the night, 49-37. The Beavers hit seven foul shots down the stretch to secure a 56-49 victory over a solid Trine club the Bluffton took down in double overtime a year ago.
Bluffton hit just 18-of-46 from the field (39.1 percent), but the Beavers ended the game 16-for-22 at the charity stripe. Trine attempted just two free throws and missed both of them. Bluffton finished with a commanding 36-28 advantage on the boards and the Beavers connected on 4-of-10 three-pointers to 3-of-13 for the the home team.
Becky Ruble paced Bluffton with a career-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including 4-of-5 from distance. The 17 points shattered her previous high mark of four points. Shellabarger fashioned her third double-double of the season with 15 points and a game-high 14 boards. Kim Miller had a sensational all-around game as she finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and three assists while draining 7-of-9 from the line and 4-of-6 from the field. Buckingham chipped in with six points and five rebounds for the victors. Vicki Auer picked up a team-high four steals in the win.
The Beavers will be off for a week before returning to action on Tuesday, Dec. 30, when Bluffton hosts Muskingum College. The contest is set to tip at 1 p.m. in Founders Hall.