January 29, 2014

Women's Basketball Falls Just Short at Anderson

ANDERSON, IND. -- Shelby Shaffer snapped a 54-54 tie with two free throws at the 11-second mark, and Anderson University held the Fightin' Engineers in the final seconds to earn a 58-54 women's basketball victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Wednesday night.

After Shaffer's two free throws, Rose-Hulman had a chance to tie in the final seconds.  Junior Sheree Williams (Bluffton, S.C.) narrowly missed a layup, and the Fightin' Engineers were forced to foul with two seconds remaining.  Jenna Wittenberg buried two more free throws to secure the final margin of victory.

Senior Kelsey Ploof (Noblesville) led the Rose-Hulman offense with 18 points and 14 rebounds.  Williams also reached double figures with 10 points.  Freshman Abbie Marshall (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall) also had six points and seven rebounds for the Engineers.

Wittenberg scored 17 points to lead the Anderson offensive effort.  Shaffer scored 14 points, and Nyomi Defiel also reached double figures with 10 points.

Rose-Hulman outrebounded the Ravens 33-22 in the contest, but Anderson rallied from a four-point deficit in the final six minutes to claim the victory.

Anderson led 19-12 halfway through the first half, before a score by Williams and a three-pointer by freshman Ava Paruleski (Shumway, Ill./Beecher City) brought the deficit within 21-20.  Anderson held the lead until the final second of the first half, when freshman Kristen Belyea (Mahomet, Ill./Mahomet Seymour) scored to give the Engineers a 29-28 lead at the break.

In the second half, Anderson responded to claim several six-point leads before pushing the margin to 43-36 at the 9:52 mark.  Rose-Hulman answered with a 12-1 run to take a 48-44 lead on a layup by Williams with 6:17 left.

The Ravens forced another tie at 49-49, before a three-pointer and two free throws by Shaffer gave Andrson a 54-49 lead with 1:44 left.  A free throw by Belyea, a basket by Bloof and a layup by senior Lauren Meadows (Indianapolis/Brebeuf) tied the score again at 54-54 with 25 seconds left and set the stage for the final possessions.

Rose-Hulman stands 7-11 overall and 5-6 in conference play.  The Fightin' Engineers host Defiance College in the team's Senior Day Game on Saturday at 1 p.m.