By: Nick Taflinger, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team was defeated by Defiance College by the score of 68-50 on Wednesday, February 6. The loss dropped the Beavers to 7-15 on the year and 5-10 in the Heartland Conference. Defiance improved to 8-14 and is now 7-8 in Heartland Conference play.
Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) carried the offense early as she scored the first five points for the Beavers as they held a 5-3 lead with 7:59 remaining in the first round. Lauren Rogers caught fire after that as she scored the next 11 points for Defiance which included three made triples, helping the visiting team take a 14-10 lead with 5:09 remaining in the quarter. Breanna Graham (Springboro) hit two triples in the quarter to help life the Bluffton offense, keeping them in striking range as they trailed 20-15 after one.
Kylie Brock (Villa Hills, Ky.) hit a long distance shot early in the second quarter to cut the deficit to just four points as the home team trailed 22-18 with 9:30 remaining in the second period. This would be the only positive offense in the period as Bluffton went cold from the field as they struggled to make shots. However, they held Defiance to just eight more points in the period, making the score 30-18 at halftime in favor of the Yellow Jackets. Bluffton shot just 1-14 in the second period.
Defiance did not slow down early in the third quarter as they continued to separate themselves from the Beavers, as they held a 37-20 lead after a Rogers layup with 7:13 left in the third quarter. Bluffton scrapped and clawed to try to get their way back into the game, but they were never able to get going in the period as they trailed 51-33 after three rounds.
Bluffton started the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run that consisted of two made layups by Lj Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton) as the Beavers trailed 51-40 with 7:14 ticks of the clock left in the game. Eleven points was the closest the Beavers would get, as Defiance used clock and played solid defense down the stretch en route to a 68-50 victory.
Olverson led the home team in scoring as she contributed 12 off the bench, and also pulled down a team high 7 rebounds. Graham scored 11 off the bench, while going 3-6 from long range and also had 2 steals. Mills scored 10 points and dished out a team high 8 assists, and also had 2 steals.
Rogers led Defiance with 20 points while going 8-10 from the floor and 4-5 from long range. Shelby Stamm scored 11 points, pulled down a team high 9 rebounds, and also dished out a team high 4 asissts. Sam Ervin scored 18 points off the bench for the visitors, while also pulling down 8 rebounds. Taylor Day scored 11 for the Yellow Jackets.
For the game, Bluffton shot 22-64, making 34.4 percent. Defiance shot 27-55, making 49.1 percent of their shots. From long distance, Bluffton connected on 5-21 for 23.8 percent. Defiance went 7-17 from long range. Bluffton was outrebounded 41-30 in the game. Bluffton committed 10 turnovers to Defiance's 15. Bluffton only shot two free throws in the entire game, going 1-2 for 50 percent. Defiance went 7-10 from the charity stripe making 70 percent.
Bluffton's next contest will take place on Saturday, February 9 as they will host Anderson University. The men's game will take place at 2 P.M., and the women's game will tip-off around 4 P.M. after the men's game in the last Saturday double header of the 2018-2019 season. Come out and support your Beavers as they continue to fight to get into the HCAC Tournament! Go Beavers!