BLUFFTON, OHIO -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from an 18-point second half deficit to close within six points, but could not overcome Bluffton University in a 70-62 women's basketball loss on Saturday afternoon.
Bluffton built a 54-36 lead with 9:34 remaining and maintained a double figure lead at 60-49 at the 4:51 mark. Rose-Hulman battled back to within six points at 60-54 on a three-pointer by sophomore Heather Finnell (Decatur. Tenn./Cleveland) and again at 62-56 on another score by Finnell.
Bluffton pushed the lead to eight points again, before freshman Grace Gibbs (Parker, Colo./Ponderosa) brought the Engineers within 64-58 at the 1:28 mark. The Beavers added four free throws in the final minute and earned a defensive stop to push the lead back to 68-59 and secure the victory.
Finnell led Rose-Hulman with a career-high 23 points on 8-16 from the field and 5-9 from three-point range, Senior Alisa Dickerson (Elizabethtown, Ky.) added 13 points, and freshman Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C.) also reached double figures with 12.
Gibbs also contributed eight points to the Rose-Hulman effort. Briittany Stegmaier scored a team-high 18 points for Bluffton, who also received 16 points from Brittany Lewis, 15 from Lauren Hutton and 10 from Rachel Daman.
Bluffton improved to 6-11 overall and 4-6 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action with its fourth straight win. Rose-Hulman dropped to 5-12 on the season and 3-7 in league play. The Fightin' Engineers host Manchester College at Hulbert Arena on Wednesday.