By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team traveled south on Interstate 75 to Mount St. Joseph on Dec. 4, 2019, for a Wednesday night matchup against the Lions. Despite a slow start, the Beavers pulled off a 49-39 win to stay undefeated. Bluffton moved to 5-0 (1-0 HCAC) on the season, while The Mount slipped to 0-5 (0-1 HCAC).
The Beaver offense struggled early in the game as the Lions put up seven unanswered points. Junior Nora Hemminger (McComb) knocked down a three to finally get Bluffton on the board five minutes into the game. Mount St. Joseph would continue to dominate during the first quarter, taking a 15-6 lead at the end of one.
The Beavers struck first in period two thanks to a jump shot from Kylie Brock (Villa Hilld, KY/Dixie Heights). Brock sparked the offense as the visitors put up 10 straight points to take a 16-15 lead. After exchanging free throws Mount took a 19-18 lead, but a Brianna Gillig (New Riegel) bucket at the buzzer gave Bluffton a 20-19 advantage going into the break.
Brock opened the second half with a triple and the Beavers never looked back. A layup from Gillig had the Beavers up by 11 (32-21) with just over five minutes left in the third. Two charity shots for Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) made it 38-26 going into the final stanza.
A rejuvinated offense from the Lions in the fourth quarter allowed the home team to pull within six. However, the Beavers stayed perfect as Gillig finished the game off in the paint to secure the 49-39 victory.
Brock led the Bluffton offense with 14 points. Gillig and Mills both chipped in 12 points, while pulling down five and a career-high eight boards, respectively. Hemminger tallied six markers along with four steals for the Beavers.
Bluffton connected on 19-of-60 (31.7 percent) from the field, compared to Mount's paltry 13-of-47 (27.7 percent). The Beavers struggled to a 4-of-23 (17.4 percent) night from outside the arc and the Lions only hit one more, going 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from deep. Bluffton was solid at the stripe as the visitors drained 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) with Mount hitting 8-of-14 (57.1 percent). The Beavers forced eight more turnovers (24-16), but the Lions pulled down three more boards (40-37).
The women are back in action on Saturday, Dec. 7, when they travel to Franklin College for a matchup against the Grizzlies. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. with the men's game to follow at 4 p.m. Go Beavers!