By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team defeated Manchester University in dominating fashion (82-45) on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The win pushed Bluffton to 6-10 on the year (4-5 HCAC). Manchester dropped to 2-14 overall and 0-9 in the HCAC.
Manchester jumped out to an early 7-2 lead with 7:59 remaining in the first quarter. The Beavers would respond with an 11-2 run capped off by a Chelsea Moore (Delaware/Olentangy) tip-in and-one with 3:14 left in the quarter. It was a high scoring first period as the Beavers forged a 20-17 lead after one.
Kylie Brock (Villa Hills, KY) started off the second quarter with a hoop and harm from the free throw line, giving the Beavers a 23-17 spread. Manchester would fight back to take the lead after a layup by Haley Farris. A putback by freshman Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) knotted up the score (31-31) at the break.
The Beavers dominated the third quarter as they knocked down 12-of-18 from the floor for 66.7 percent en route to 29 points and a commanding 60-40 lead at the end of three. Bluffton limited Manchester to a miniscule 2-for-15 from the field (13.3 percent).
The song remained the same in the fourth quarter as the Beavers put up 22 more points in the final stanza, while Manchester went for just five. The Beavers absolutely dominated the second half (51-14) en route to an 82-45 victory.
Junior Lj Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton) scored a team-best and career-high tying 16 points, going an efficient 7-of-9 from the floor while also pulling down six rebounds. Gillig tallied 14 points, including 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, with six rebounds of her own. Brock finished with 14 points off the bench as she provided instant offense from the moment she entered the game. Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade Julienne) scored 10 points and also dished out a team-high six assists. Sophomore Heidi Craddock (Lima/Bath) scored eight points while going 2-of-3 from three-point land in just four minutes of action.
Manchester was led by Beth Schaefer as she scored nine points for the visitors on 3-of-4 from the charity stripe with two blocks. Macy Miller paced the Spartans with seven rebounds.
Bluffton connected on 32-of-73 from the floor for 43.8 percent shooting. Manchester hit just 18-of-62 for 29 percent from the field. Bluffton was a respectable 7-of-20 from three-point range for 35 percent, while Manchester was a paltry 2-of-20 from long distance for 10 percent. The home team made 11-of-15 from the charity stripe (73.3 percent). Manchester was 7-for-11 from the free throw line (63.6 percent). The Beavers outrebounded the vistors (46-41) and also doubled the assists of Manchester (18-9).
The Beavers are back in the Sommer Center on Saturday, Jan. 19, for the first game of a home doubleheader when the Transylvania Pioneers come to town. The game was originally scheduled for 2 P.M., however, with the weather that is expected, tip-off has been switched to noon. The men's game will follow at approximately 2 P.M. Come out and support your Beavers!