2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 78, MSJ 64
By: Adriane Bruner, sports information assistant
January 8, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers hit the court on Wednesday night looking for a victory after their heartbreaking loss at Rose-Hulman last Saturday and that is what they earned thanks to a blistering first half shooting display. Bluffton hit 17-of-31 (54.8 percent) in the first 20 minutes, including 6-for-14 (42.9 percent) from distance. The Beavers moved to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the Heartland Conference with their victory, while Mount St. Joseph slipped to 1-11 and 1-4 in the HCAC.
TARA DENNIS started the game off with a layup in the paint for a quick 2-0 MSJ lead. After two minutes with no scoring for either team, the Beavers finally put their first points on the board with a layin from RACHEL BEINING (Ottoville) before a three-point shot by sophomore TAYLOR WHITAKER (Mansfield/Lexington) made the score 5-2. A jumper from HEIDI MCMANUS followed by two Dennis free throws after a Beaver foul under the basket put the Lions up, 6-5, at the 16-minute mark.
The Lions continued to hold their lead as the teams battled back and forth, countering each basket the Beavers made until Beining made it to the line and drained both shots from the charity stripe which started a 9-0 Bluffton run. As the Lions attempted to come back with a three-point shot from MEREDITH HARTIFIEL, the Beavers answered with a rainbow triple by ABBY JERGER (Middletown/Madison) in front of the MSJ bench. Another three-point shot, this time from BRILYN WEBB, pulled the Lions within striking distance, but again the Beavers answered on their next possession as BELICIA COOPER (Painesville/Riverside) drained another trifecta, pushing the score to 24-16.
With just over eight minutes left in the half the teams continued to battle back and forth, but the Beavers slowly pulled ahead, capitalizing on Beining's dominance in the paint and some work from Whitaker. The teams hit the lockerroom after the Beavers took a commanding 46-25 lead at the break.
The Lions got on the scoreboard in period two when Dennis hit a layup right out of the gates, but the Beavers responded on their next possession as KAITLYN PENNEKAMP (Hamilton/Ross) hustled around her defender to hit the jumper. Cooper then picked off the Lions and went coast-to-coast, putting the score at 50-27 just two minutes into the second half.
Again capitalizing on Beining's hoop and harm with just under 10 minutes left in the half, the Beavers pushed their lead to 21 points (61-40). The Lions tried to rally with a three-point shot from BROOKE MOSLER, but the home team maintained control throughout the remainder of the second half. The Bluffton women pulled out the victory over Mount St. Joseph with a final score of 78-64.
Leading the Beavers were Beining and Whitaker. The freshman post put together her second career double-double with 20 points on a ridiculous 8-of-9 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe. She also pulled down 12 caroms to go along with her career-high 20 counters. Whitaker also posted a new career-high with 19 points. She was 7-of-16 from the field, 2-of-7 from three point range and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Also in double digits for the Beavers was Belicia Cooper with 10 points. Gwen Downing (Kenton) got it done for the home team, putting up new career highs with six rebounds and six assists to go along with her six markers. Leading the Lions was Dennis with her own double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds, followed by CHELSEA CASTLEBERRY who added 10 points and seven rebounds for the visitors.
Bluffton went 26-of-60 (43.3 percent) from the field, while Mount St. Joseph hit 23-of-62 (37.1 percent). The teams were nearly equal from the charity stripe as the Beavers were 20-of-25 (80.0 percent), while the Lions went 15-of-20 (75.0 percent). The Beavers finished 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from outside the arc. compared to only 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) for MSJ. The Lions turned it over four more times (18-14) and Bluffton pulled down five more rebounds (42-37).
The Beavers return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 11, when they face Hanover in a Heartland Conference showdown. The game is slated to tip at 1 p.m. in the Sommer Center.