Thursday, January 09, 2014
Host Bluffton University broke open a close game halfway through the first half, using a balanced inside-outside scoring attack, as they went on to defeat the Mount on Wednesday evening, 78-64. The Lions, 1-11 overall, 1-4 in the HCAC, will return to conference action on Jan. 11 when they host Earlham College.
The Lions led the Beavers early on in the game, 8-5, and 10-7 after a lay-up by Mea Williams (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) but could not hold on as Bluffton grabbed the lead at 11-10 with 12:12 on the clock. The Beavers pushed their lead out to 21-13 after a three-pointer and held a double-digit advantage, 32-21, with 5:10 to play in the opening half. Bluffton, which capitalized on close-range shooting attempts, also was efficient in turning Mount first half turnovers into points. The Beavers out-shot the Mount, 55 to 33 percent from the field in the opening half, and made six-of-14 shots from behind the three-point arc to the Lions' two-of-three from long range.
Bluffton's shooting cooled considerably in the second half, as the Mount could only cut the 21-point halftime deficit to 16, early in the second half. Bluffton shot just 31 percent in the second half, while the Lions were 13-of-32 shooting, including 1-for-13 from long range in the closing 20 minutes of play The Mount would get to within 15 points, with just under four minutes left in the game.
Tara Dennis (Batavia, OH/Williamsburg) led the Lions with 25 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots while teammate Chelsea Castleberry (Hebron, KY/Conner) added 10 points and seven rebounds. It was Dennis' fifth double-double (points-rebounds) of the season.