ANDERSON — Coming off a double overtime win over Defiance on Wednesday, the Anderson University women’s basketball team outlasted in Bluffton, 76-69.
“In my time at Anderson as a head coach, we’ve never beaten Bluffton,” head coach Lindsay Shade said. “To come into today and not only beat them, but in some ways I expected us to beat them, is a huge a win for our program. I’m proud of the way our girls played.”
Aggressive play by the Beavers proved beneficial in the first half as they would force 11 Raven turnovers. However, an adjustment by the Ravens in the second half would eventually cost Bluffton the game as the Ravens would score 11 points at the line and see the Beavers foul out two players.
“I was not happy with our 11 turnovers in the first half, but I thought we did a much better job in the second half of handling their pressure,” Shade said. “We only had six turnovers, which made a difference in the outcome of the game.”
Contributing to the Ravens’ 75.9 percent accuracy at the line was freshman guard Lexi Dellinger, who knocked down 7 of 8 from the free throw line.
“Every time I’m at the line I just try to help my team out,” Dellinger said. “It’s a point that you can get with nobody guarding you, so it’s the easiest shot.”
From the tip, the game remained close with both teams tied at eight through the midway point of the first quarter. A 8-0 run by the Ravens would end the quarter with Anderson up 16-8. The second half saw the momentum swing in favor of the Beavers as they would outscore the Ravens 19-11. Bluffton’s T.J. Mills led the charge, recording three steals and nine points to give the Beavers a 32-31 lead going into the half.
Things continued to swing in favor of the Beavers as freshman forward Payton Moore would commit a technical foul, allowing Bluffton to hit two free throws. However, the tide began to turn as a shot from outside the arc from freshman Hannah Ault with four seconds left in the quarter would ignite the bench.
“Hannah Ault hasn’t played since we were at Mount St. Joseph so this was her first game back in the rotation,” Shade said. “She provided a huge spark for us off the bench and made some big plays.”
With the lead in the final 10 minutes of the game, the Ravens did not look back. After a quick layup by Bluffton to cut Anderson’s lead to two with six minutes left in the game, a deep three from junior guard Carly Hackler would put the Ravens up by five and guide them to the win.
The victory puts the Ravens at .500 on the season and in conference play. Now sitting a game behind fourth place in the HCAC standings, the Ravens are looking to take advantage of a big conference win.
“We’re just going to take the momentum with us,” Dellinger said. “We’re going to try our best in every single game.”