2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 68, MSJ 60
By: Blade Tackett, sports information assistant
February 12, 2014
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball came up victorious, 68-60, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Mount St. Joseph. Bluffton's free throw shooting and hustle plays allowed them to overcome a 19-of-46 shooting performance. The visitors scored 24 points off turnovers, had 12 second chance points to MSJ’s 6, and shot 28-for-37 from the stripe. Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) stepped up again as she blistered the Lions with a stellar 9-of-10 from the field with a triple and five free throws for a total of 24 points. She also pulled down 14 rebounds for her 13th career double-double. With the victory, Bluffton improved to 12-10 overall and 8-7 in the Heartland Conference. The eight wins are the most ever for a Bluffton women's hoops team in HCAC action!
The game was even early on as both teams traded baskets. In the first nine minutes the lead changed hands seven times before a Meredith Hartfiel triple put the Lions up 15-11 at the 11:53 mark. Brooke Ruffer and Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) took over on the offensive end late in the half, scoring 17 points before junior Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) got to the rack with 48 seconds left as Bluffton took a 36-35 lead at the break.
MSJ knotted the score a couple times in the second half, but Bluffton stayed tough and never lost the lead. The Beavers got production all the way around as the team jumped out to an eight-point lead with 6:01 left and felt a crucial road win close at hand. They tightened down their defense one last time as they held the Lions to nine points over the last eight minutes to secure a 68-60 win.
MSJ ended the game shooting 20-of-61 from the field while grabbing 33 rebounds, and dishing out 13 assists with 19 turnovers. Mount was led in scoring by Chelsea Castleberry with 14 points, followed by Heidi McManus and Brooke Mosler with nine each.
Behind Ruffer topped all scorers with 24. She also blocked a career-high four shots to go along with her 14 boards, two steals and an assist. Taylor Whitaker scored 12 points while Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) chipped in with 10 and pulled down seven rebounds. Bluffton grabbed 42 total rebounds, but had only eight assists to 22 turnovers.
The Beavers took a big step toward a berth in the Heartland Conference with their win over MSJ. A Bluffton win Saturday over Rose-Hulman, coupled with a Defiance loss at Transylvania, will punch the ticket as the Beavers host RHIT at 1 p.m. on Alumni Day in the Sommer Center.