By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team opened up its season at home on November 11, 2019, against Alma College. Despite a two-hour delay due to a severe snowstorm that kept Alma on the road for over seven hours, the Beavers were able to pull off a 62-49 victory over the Scots. With the victory, Bluffton starts its season out at 1-0, while Alma is 0-1.
After controlling the tip, the visitors struck first with a deuce from Jeny Brandt. Bluffton would quickly gain the lead after a Sammy Shardo (Findlay/Liberty-Benton) triple. Two Alma layups in the last 30 seconds made a score of 12-11 in favor of the home team at the end of quarter one.
Two free throw from Alma's Emily Long and a Stasha Warchock layup gave the Scots a short-lived lead early in the second stanza. However, a 7-0 run from the Beavers gave the home team a 28-26 advantage going into the intermission.
A 5-0 run courtesy of a Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) triple and two Kylie Brock (Villa Hills, KY/Dixie Heights) freebies gave the home team a comfortable 40-30 lead early in the third quarter. The Beavers kept the fire stoked as they built a 50-36 advantage heading into the final stanza.
An offensive drought for the Beavers allowed Alma to trim the deficit to just seven (56-49) with three and a half minutes left in regulation. Six foul shots helped Bluffton secure the 62-49 victory on a rare Monday night of basketball in the Sommer Center.
Bluffton was led by Mills and Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) who put up 14 points apiece. Sophomore Emma Saltzman (Arcadia) pitched in 11 points and 10 boards off the bench for her first career double double! Shardo spread the floor with three makes from distance for nine points and five rebounds in her collegiate opener.
The Beavers hit 18-of-56 (32.1 percent) field goals, but just 5-for-22 (22.7 percent) from distance. Bluffton connected on 21-of-29 (72.4 percent) at the line. The home team also pulled down 11 more boards (48-37), while both teams coughed it up 14 times.
The women are back in action of Saturday, Nov. 16, when they head to Olivet College in Michigan. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Go Beavers!