2013-14 Women's Basketball
Hanover 79, Bluffton 66
By: Blade Tackett, sports information assistant
February 1, 2014
HANOVER, Ind. - An 18-point first half deficit was too much to overcome as the Bluffton University women had their three-game winning streak snapped at Hanover College on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. The Panthers improved to 11-8 overall and 9-3 in the Heartland Conference, while Bluffton dropped to 11-8 and 7-5 in the HCAC.
Eight turnovers by the Beavers in the first five minutes allowed Hanover go up 13-2 before the visitors knew what hit them. Bluffton answered back with eight straight points to pull within three (13-10) midway through the opening stanza.
A 23-8 spurt by the Panthers pushed Hanover's lead to 36-18 at the 3:39 mark before Bluffton started to chip away again. Six straight points from sophomore Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) followed by an Anna Hairston (Mansfield/Ontario) deep ball helped the Beavers make the score 41-27 at the break.
A Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) trifecta and Taylor Knight's (Perrysburg) hoop and harm kept Bluffton within striking distance (50-38) at the 14:30 mark, but that was as close as the Beavers would get. Hanover again pushed out to an 18-point advantage with 6:13 to play before the visitors made one final stand. Knight and Ruffer powered a 10-4 run, but the Panthers avenged an 81-71 loss in the Sommer Center three short weeks ago with a 79-66 victory over the Beavers.
Brooke Ruffer was spectacular in posting her 11th career double-double. The sophomore sensation hit 11-of-17 from the field for a career-high 26 points and she also ripped down a game-high 14 boards. Taylor Knight added a career-high 17 points for the visitors. Taylor Whitaker was also in double figures with 11 counters. Freshman Rachel Beining (Ottoville) and Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) pulled down nine and six rebounds, respectively.
Bluffton finished the game 25-of-67 (37.3 percent) from the field which was slightly better than Hanover (22-of-62 for 35.5 percent). The Panthers drained five more triples (7-2) and pulled down four more rebounds (44-40). The Beavers coughed it up four more times (19-15) leading to a 17-9 advantage in points off turnovers for the home team.
The Beavers jump back into action on Wednesday, Feb. 5, when Manchester University comes to town. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center.