Alma, Mich. – The Alma College women's basketball team defeated Bluffton University, 67-61, in their home opener of the 2018-2019 season. Making her first home appearance since her freshman year, junior guard Hannah Thelen (Pewamo, Mich. / Pewamo-Westphalia) scored 14 points and collected a career-high 15 rebounds in the win. The Scots improve to 1-1 on the year while the Beavers drop their season opener.
- Both teams came out shooting over 40 percent in the first quarter, sophomore forward Emily Eldridge (Battle Creek, Mich. / Battle Creek Lakeview) was the leading scorers for the Scots with six. Freshman guard Stasha Warchock (Marquette, Mich. / Marquette) gave Alma its first lead of the game on a layup that made it 14-13.
- It was another tight period in the second, senior forward Madeline Barnauskas (Livonia, Mich. / Dearborn Divine Child) scored nine of her 14 points in the second quarter. The Scots started to have momentum with leading by four multiple times before halftime.
- Alma came out of the break with its highest scoring quarter of the game. Thelen kicked it off with a three to take a 36-35 lead. A 17-3 run gave the Scots a 53-41 lead. Thelen scored seven and collected five of her 15 rebounds during the period.
- Thelen hit another three 40 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Scots their largest lead of the night at 13. The Beavers began to chomp away at Alma's lead until it was a one-point game with three minutes left. Barnuaskas hit a pair of layups in the final minutes to keep Bluffton at bay. Up four with 14 seconds left, the Scots played keep away until Thelen finally drew a foul with less than a second to go. She hit both free throws and Alma came out with their first win of the season.
- Alma ended up with four players in double figures, Thelen, Barnauskas, Warchock and junior guard Madison Hill (Midland, Mich. / Bullock Creek) who had 11 points and four rebounds.
- Sophomore forward Charley Hengesbach (Saginaw, Mich. / Nouvel Catholic Central) was second on the team in rebounds with five.
- The Scots shot over 30 percent from beyond the arc and 85 percent from the charity stripe.
- 17 lead changes occurred throughout the game.
- This was Ryan Clark's first win in his head coaching career.
What He Said
"I thought we played extremely hard again for the second game in a row. We finally got some shots to fall tonight and stayed aggressive for the most part. So proud of our defensive effort once again, especially in the second half. We had a lot of people step up tonight and it truly was a team win." – Head Coach Ryan Clark
The Scots head to Holland, Mich. for two games this weekend. Friday (Nov. 16) Alma faces Benedictine University at 5 p.m. They will then play MacMurray College Saturday (Nov. 17) at 1 p.m.