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December 4, 2020

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Beavers stop Manchester again

Adrian next on the schedule

The Bluffton University women's basketball team was back in action on Saturday, Nov. 14, welcoming Manchester University for the second time in three days.

Bluffton used a 22-16 spread in the fourth quarter to pull out the 54-46 victory. Manchester fell to 0-3, while the home team stands 2-0 on the season.

For the second straight game, sophomore Ella Zaborowski (Toledo/Christian) got the Beavers on the scoreboard first with her jumper in the paint. Points were hard to come by in the first stanza as Manchester led 10-8 after the first 10 minutes.

It was still tough sledding for the offenses through the first five minutes of the second quarter until freshmen Sydney Cavanaugh (Mansfield/St. Peter's) rolled off eight points late in the half for a 23-22 Bluffton lead at the break.

Five points from Taylor Malson (Castalia/Margaretta), including Bluffton's first make of the game from distance, helped the home team open a 30-22 cushion at the 7:30 mark. The offense went stagnant, however, as Manchester pulled within 32-30 at the end of the third period thanks to an 8-2 run.

Six straight points for the Spartans to open the fourth quarter made it a 14-2 jag before freshman Maddie Fitzpatrick (Mount Gilead) hit Bluffton's first basket in over 10 minutes. Her deuce ignited a 6-0 run that made it 38-36 Bluffton midway through the final period. Following a pair of Emma Saltzman (Arcadia) chip shots, the home team was up 40-38.

With the game tied and the outcome hanging in the balance with less than 1:30 to play, a 12-4 run by the Bluffton freshmen made the final score 54-46! Angel Schneider (Columbus Grove) hit from deep and Malson followed with seven straight counters before Fitzpatrick's run out capped off Bluffton's second straight win over the Spartans.

Cavanaugh and Malson led the way with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Schneider added seven as the Bluffton bench outscored Manchester 39-12. Senior Nora Hemminger pulled down a team-high seven rebounds, while Malson and Sammy Shardo (Findlay-Liberty-Benton) both finished with six caroms. Fitzpatrick dished out four assists and Malson came up with four steals for the victors. Cavanaugh blocked two Manchester shots.

Bluffton hit 21-of-63 from the field (33.3 percent) compared to a paltry 15-of-62 (24.2 percent) for the Spartans. Both teams were ice cold from long range as Bluffton made three triples and the Spartans cashed in twice. The home team pulled down four more rebounds (50-46), but also turned it over two more times (19-17). Bluffton scored 21 points off turnovers and held a slight edge in the paint (28-26).

The next game on the schedule is a home contest against Adrian College on Monday, Dec. 7, but check the website regularly for updates.