By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team was defeated by Anderson University, 76-69, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. The loss dropped the Beavers to 4-9 on the season (2-4 HCAC), while Anderson improved to 7-6 (3-3 HCAC).
The Beavers got off to a quick 4-0 start after freshman guard Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) hit two layups to begin the game. Anderson would finish the first quarter with a flurry as they tallied the last eight points for a 16-8 advantage at the end of one.
The home team would score four more points to begin the second period, making it 20-8 after a Hanna Ault laup with 9:12 remaining in the first half. The Beavers quickly responded with an 8-0 spurt, capped off by two Emma Saltzman (Arcadia) free throws with 7:15 on the clock. Bluffton continued to scratch its way back into the game, eventually taking the lead after an Lj Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton) foul shot made it 28-27 with 3:34 remaining in the second quarter. The Beavers went into the halftime break leading 32-31 after an impressive 24-point second period.
The third quarter started off back-and-forth as the teams exchanged baskets and were still tied at 49-49 after an Olverson layup with 2:27 remaining in the third stanza. Anderson finished the period on a 10-5 run as the Ravens took a 59-54 lead at the end of three rounds.
The Beavers were never able to recapture the lead in the final period as Anderson outscored the visitors 17-15 en route to a 76-69 victory.
Bluffton was led by Gillig as she scored a career-high 22 points, going 7-of-12 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line. Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) went for 17 points and led the Beavers with three steals. Fellow junior Chelsea Moore (Delaware/Olentangy) added 10 points while pulling down a team-high eight rebounds.
Anderson had five different players score in double figures. They were led by Lexi Dellinger who scored 17 points, going 7-8 from the free throw line, and she also dished out four assists. Payton Moore led the Ravens in rebounds with nine and she added 14 points while knocking down 5-of-8 from the floor.
The Beavers hit 26-of-66 for the game, making 39.4 percent of their shots. Anderson was a blazing 55.8 percent from the floor, going 24-of-43 for the game. The Beavers weren't able to hit one three-point shot, finishing 0-of-8 in the loss. Anderson canned 6-of-13 from long distance for 46.2 percent. Bluffton was outstanding at the free throw line, going 17-of-20 for 85 percent. Anderson shot 22-29 from the charity stripe for 75.9 percent. Anderson pulled down 34 rebounds, compared to Bluffton's 31, but the visitors turned it over eight fewer times (17-9).
Bluffton will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 9, when the women travel to Defiance College to take on the other purple team up north. Come out and support your Beavers!