By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team lost a hard-fought game to John Carroll University by the score of 86-70 in overtime on Wednesday, Nov. 28. The final tally was misleading as it was a heavyweight battle through the first four rounds. The loss dropped the Beavers to 1-4, while John Carroll improved to 3-2.
The first quarter saw both teams go back-and-forth with the score being 14-12 after one period in favor of the home team. Quarter two was more of the same as the scoring ramped up. Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) had eight points in the second stanza and the Beavers went into halftime with a 37-33 lead.
John Carroll responded in the third quarter as they scored 20 points to take a 53-48 lead. The fourth quarter was controlled by the Beavers as they used a 19-9 scoring splurge to build a 67-62 lead with 56 seconds left in the game. JCU's Abby Adler hit a 3-point shot to cut the deficit to 67-65. After trading makes at the charity stripe, the Beavers held a 70-67 lead with 21 seconds left. The visitors came out of the timeout with a well-executed play, creating enough space for Dani Carlson to get a triple try from the wing and it tickled the twine, making the score 70-70. The Beavers were not able to get a shot up and John Carroll took advantage of big mo, dominating the overtime period as they held Bluffton scoreless for the 86-70 victory. They forced four Bluffton turnovers that led to easy fast-break layups.
The Beavers were led by Gillig and Breanna Graham (Springboro) who both netted 16 points. Graham went 3-of-9 from the three-point line, while Gillig added a career-high 15 rebounds for her first collegiate double-double. Junior Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) scored 15 points for the Beavers, while also contributing six rebounds and six assists on the night. Nicole Heffington led the way for JCU as she poured in a game-high 21 points yo go along with her nine rebounds. The visitors had two double-digit scorers that came off the bench as Dani Carlson chipped in with 13 points and Sarah Sprecher added 11 markers. Abby Adler led John Caroll with six assists.
The Beavers connected on just 33.3 percent of their field goals, going 21-of-63. John Carroll was more efficient at 42.3 percent, connecting on 33-for-78 in the victory. The visitors won the rebounding battle 47 to 44, and they handed out eight more assists (20-12). The Beavers made more free throws, going 22-of-31 (71 percent). However, John Carroll shot the better percentage from the foul line as JCU drilled 14-of-16 for 87.5 percent.
The Beavers will be back in action on Saturday, Dec. 1, when they travel to Lexington, Ky., to take on Transylvania University at 2 P.M. in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams.