2011-12 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 84, Earlham 63
Bluffton thumps Earlham 84-63 for first conference win
January 11, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team snapped a seven-game skid with an 84-63 victory at Earlham on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. It was the first conference win for the Beavers who improved to 3-11 overall and 1-6 in the Heartland Conference, while the Quakers dropped to 3-11 (1-6 HCAC) on the season.
Junior Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) broke the ice, scoring the first four points of the game two minutes into the contest to give the Beavers a 4-0 lead. One minute later, Brittany Stegmaier (Garfield/Trinity) hit a three for a 7-2 advantage.
After Earlham tied the game at seven just four minutes in, the Beavers went on a 19-3 run to open a comfortable 26-10 lead with eight minutes left in the half. Rachel Daman (Defiance/Tinora) ignited the jag with five points while Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and Hutton each chipped in with four. Earlham crept back into the game by going on a 12-4 spurt to cut the lead to 30-22.
After layins by Hutton and Daman, Francena Tate (Fostoria/St. Wendelin) drained two free throws to push the lead to 36-22. The teams then exchanged a few buckets until Stegmaier hit back-to-back threes for a 42-29 advantage with 1:40 left in the first half. Freshman Sharonda Martin (Dayton/Stivers) then converted a layup with 36 seconds remaining, giving the visitors a 46-31 lead at halftime.
Earlham scored the first five points of the second period, cutting the deficit to 10 before Bluffton responded with a layup by freshman Rachel Debord (Lebanon/Lebanon) and Stegmaier's fourth trifecta of the game for a 51-36 lead five minutes into the second half.
The teams battled over the next seven minutes until senior Alicia Amis (Woodstock/Mechanicsburg) nailed four free throws to extend the lead to 20 points (66-46) with eight minutes left in the game. Brittany Lewis (Springfield/Shawnee) then got to the rack for a deuce one minute later to give the Beavers their largest lead of the night at 22 points as Bluffton wrapped up its first HCAC victory of the season (84-63).
Hutton led the way for the Beavers, recording her second career double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds while going a perfect 6-for-6 from the field and 7-of-8 at the charity stripe. Daman also had an outstanding overall game with 14 points, a career-high tying five assists and four boards. Seniors Stegmaier and Amis each scored in double digits as well with 14 and 11 points, respectively. Lewis pulled down a career-high nine rebounds which helped the Beavers to a 43-33 edge on the glass.
Bluffton finished the game shooting a solid 48 percent (28-of-59) from the field and 82 percent (23-of-28) at the free throw line which helped the Beavers maintain their double-digit lead throughout the game. They also dished out seven more assists (16-9) then the Quakers. The home team received a stellar game from Bria Sneed who poured in 26 of the Quakers' 63 points while also accounting for four rebounds, three assists and four steals.
Bluffton continues conference action with a trip to Anderson University on Saturday, Jan. 14. Tip-off in Anderson, Ind., is slated for 2 p.m.