By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team welcomed Heidelberg University to Copeland Court on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
An early 7-0 run from the Student Princes had the Beavers digging out of an early holy. An offensive spark highlighted by a layup from Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) and a freebie for Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) cut the Beaver deficit to just two (11-9) with 2:47 to play in quarter one. Buckets from Kylie Brock (Villa Hills, KY/Dixie Heights) and Nora Hemminger (McComb) left Bluffton with a 17-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Hedielberg's Bailey Walter and Hannah Kilps gave the visitors a 22-19 lead early in the second quarter. A triple from freshman Ella Zaborowski (Toledo/Toledo Christian) knotted the score at 24-24, but Bluffton went into the half down 31-30.
A 6-1 run for Heidelberg put them up by six at the six-minute mark before back-to-back trifectas from freshman marksman Sammy Shardo (Findlay/Liberty Benton) tied it back up at 37-37. Heidelberg out-pointed Bluffton 8-4 late in the third to take a 45-41 lead going into the final stanza.
Three Gillig freebies and a layup gave the Beavers a 46-45 lead within the first minute. Two foul shots from the Student Princes' Walter made it 56-53 Heidelberg, but another Shardo triple and a Gillig deuce in the paint quickly put the Beavers back up 58-56. An intentional foul sent Gillig back to the stripe as the Beavers nailed down the 70-65 victory to remain undefeated.
Leading the Beaver offense was Gillig who just missed her third career double-double, putting up 22 points and pulling down nine boards. Mills and Shardo chipped in 14 and nine points, respectively. Hemminger and Mills ripped down seven rebounds each.
Bluffton connected on just 22-of-60 (36.7 percent) from the field, including 4-of-20 (20 percent) from deep. Heidelberg hit 26-of-73 (35.6 percent) of their shots and only 2-of-17 (11.8 percent) from outside the arc. Both teams were solid at the line as the Beavers went 22-of-31 (71 percent) and the Student Princes 11-of-15 (73.3 percent). Heidelberg forced two more turnovers (13-11), but Bluffton picked up two more fast break points (6-4). Both teams put up 34 points in the paint. The back-and-forth pre-Thanksgiving special had all of the trimmings as the lead changed hands 11 times before the home team put it away.
The women will enjoy a brief respite before they return to action on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when they head south to Mount St. Joseph for the kickoff of Heartland Conference play. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. Go Beavers!