Comeback Effort Falls Short in Loss at Bluffton


johnson-mu2BLUFFTON, OHIO -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to close within six late, but Bluffton University withstood the charge to earn a 59-50 women's basketball victory on Saturday.

Freshman Addie Johnson (Caledonia, Mich./Catholic Central) led the Fightin' Engineer offense with 15 points and six rebounds off the bench.  Junior Lauren Meadows (Indianapolis/Brebeuf) added 10 points with three assists.

Junior Kelsey Ploof (Noblesville) contributed eight points and 11 rebounds to Rose-Hulman's effort, while freshman Carrie Morris (Altadena, Calif./Mayfield) pitched in with seven points.

Brooke Ruffer led the Bluffton attack with 22 points and six rebounds.  Rachel DeBord provided depth with 17 points for the Beavers.

Rose-Hulman jumped out to an early 11-7 lead on a layup by Meadows at the 15:43 mark.  Freshman Cassidy Cain (Noblesville) helped the Engineers regain the lead at 19-17 on a three-pointer at the 10:31 mark.

Bluffton answered with nine straight points to take a 26-19 lead and earned a 33-28 at the break.  In the second half, the Beavers continued a push to build a 44-28 lead at the 16:27 mark.

Rose-Hulman answered with a 10-2 run to close within 46-38 on two free throws by sophomore Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C.) at the 10:22 mark.  Meadows brought the Engineers within 48-42 on another score at the 7:02 mark.

Down the stretch, Rose-Hulman closed to within six points at 52-46 on another score by Meadows.  Bluffton relied on steady free throw shooting in the final two minutes to withstand the rally.

Bluffton improved to 5-2 and 1-2 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on the season, while Rose-Hulman stands 2-4 and 0-3 in league contests.  The Fightin' Engineers host St. Mary-of-the-Woods College on Tuesday night at Hulbert Arena.