PELLA - Junior Margo Muhlbauer scored 27 points, on 9-of-18 shooting, but it wasn't enough on Saturday afternoon, as the Buena Vista women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker at Central College (7-12, 3-7 IIAC), 76-75.
The reigning IIAC Women's Basketball Performer of the Week also dished out four assists and grabbed five rebounds in the contest, while converting on 8-of-9 free-throw attempts. Jenn Schumann followed with 14 points, on the strength of 6-of-12 shooting. Melissa Sporrer sparked the defense off of the bench for BVU, matching a career-high with nine rebounds. Courtney Stoelk and Katie Ebel followed with six boards apiece, while Aubrey Hauswirth chipped in with five. As a team, the Beavers out-rebounded the Dutch, 43-31.
Muhlbauer sank a pair of free-throws to give BVU a 75-74 lead with eight seconds left in regulation, but after calling a timeout, the Dutch came down the floor and Megan Carman, who scored a team-best 18 points on the day, nailed a jumper as time ran out.
Buena Vista, which led for nearly the entire way, jumped out to an early 15-6 lead and maintained that lead before going in front 29-19 with 5:31 left in the opening half. Central got back as close as five before a pair of free-throws from Schumann gave the Beavers a seven-point half time lead (39-32).
Back-to-back buckets to begin the second half helped spark a 13-6 run which pulled the Dutch back even (45-45) for the first time since the opening minutes of the contest. The game then went back-and-forth for the next two minutes before BVU pulled out to a 57-48 lead with 8:34 left. It maintained that lead, and a jumper from Schumann gave the Beavers a 10-point lead (65-55) with just more than four minutes to play.
From there, however, the Dutch went on an 11-3 and got to within two (68-66) with 2:27 on the clock. BVU kept the lead by making free-throws, but Central eventually came all the way back to take a 74-73 lead with 31 seconds left - leading up to the drama in the end.
Jordan Waddell and Laura Porter followed Carman by scoring 14 points each for the Dutch.
Buena Vista dips to 14-6 overall (7-4 IIAC) and will return to action again on Wednesday night when the team hosts Wartburg College in a 6:00 p.m. contest.