Bluffton hits 63 percent from the field in 87-78 win over MSJ
January 26, 2011
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team hosted The College
of Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, January 26 in Founders Hall. The Beavers made their
mark on the scoreboard quickly, parlaying a13-0 start into a 41-25 advantage at the
break. The Lions found their offensive rhythm in the second half, but the comeback
was too late as Bluffton held on for the 87-78 victory. The win moves the Beavers
to 8-10 overall, including a 5-6 record in the Heartland Conference. The Lions fell
to 4-13 and 4-7 in the HCAC.
The Beavers quickly took control of the game scoring 13 points and forcing a Mount
St. Joseph timeout before the Lions could score. MSJ added their first points of the
game at the 15:47 mark when Gina Gonzales dropped in a pair of free throws (13-2).
Bluffton responded with a Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) three-pointer. The teams traded points over the next three minutes
as a Rachel LeFever (Orrville) jumper kept the lead at 14.
The Beavers once again took control of the game following another LeFever jumper which
put the Beavers up 21 with just under 10 minutes left in the half. The Lions finally
answered with a 9-0 run over the next two minutes, capped by a Carolyn Holt layup which made the score 29-17.
MSJ continued to pick away at the lead as a Gonzales layup cut the deficit to nine
with just 2:34 left in the half. The Beavers found their outside stroke when a Beth Yoder (Marshallville/Smithville) triple started a seven-point run to end the half, giving
Bluffton a 41-25 lead at the break.
The Lions opened period two on a 10-2 spurt. A Shelby Benzinger layup pulled the visitors within eight just three minutes into the half.
Bluffton responded to the Lions as two Kim Miller (Delphos/St. John's) free throws at the 14:33 mark pushed the Beaver lead back to
15. MSJ made it a nine-point game (54-45) with just 12 minutes left to play thanks
to a Courtney Cole deuce.
Bluffton responded with a jag of their own, capped by a Kim Meyer (Millbury/Lake) layup with 8:30 left which put the Beavers up 61-45. MSJ did not
go away quietly and two minutes later a pair of Benzinger free throws brought the
Lions as close (76-71) as they had been since the 18:04 mark of the first stanza.
Bluffton hit 13 free throws down the stretch to seal the 87-78 victory over MSJ.
The Beavers' offense was well distributed with four players tallying double digits.
Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) led the team with a career-high 20 points while dishing out
six assists. Miller also contributed six dimes and added 14 points to go along with
seven rebounds and one rejection. Stegmaier and Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) both added 12 while going 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Rachel Daman
chipped in with nine markers, drilling 4-of-5 from the field.
Benzinger led the Lions comeback attempt with 25 points, including 20 in the second
half. Holt and Gonzales each added 14 for the Lions.
The Beavers were lethal from the field, going 29-of-46 (63 percent), including an
astounding 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from behind the arc. The Lions hit 30-of-62 (48.4
percent) on field goals, but only 5-for-19 (26.3 percent) from the three-point line.
Both teams were excellent from the line as the Lions went 13-of-16 (81.3 percent)
while the Beavers were 21-of-26 (80.8 percent). Bluffton dominated on the boards,
posting a 30-22 advantage over the Lions.
The Bluffton University women's basketball team will be back in action when they host
Franklin on Saturday, January 29. The Hall of Fame Day contest with the Grizzlies
is slated for 2 p.m. in Founders Hall.