2013-14 Women's Basketball
#9 Hope 83, Bluffton 59
November 15, 2013
NAPERVILLE, Ill. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team showed it is not afraid to play the best when it tipped off the 2013-14 campaign with a matchup against #9 Hope College, a team that advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division III Tournament just eight short months ago. The Flying Dutch built a 49-24 lead at the break and held off the Beavers despite being outscored by Bluffton in the second period. Hope improved to 1-0 and will play in the North Central championship game tomorrow, while the Beavers will hit the court at 1 PM (EST) for the consolation contest.
Bluffton jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead over Hope before the Flying Dutch responded with a 47-17 spurt to take control of the game. Hope connected on 30-of-72 from the field (41.7 percent), including 18-of-36 (50 percent) in the first 20 minutes. Bluffton finished the game 21-for-49 (42.9 percent). Both teams struggled from outside the arc as the Beavers were 2-of-15 (13.3 percent), compared to Hope which made just 5-for-22 (22.7 percent). The Beavers connected on 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) at the stripe.
Hope pulled down 10 more rebounds (44-34) and the Flying Dutch forced 11 more turnovers (26-15). The Beavers came up with six steals, while Hope finished with 12.
Freshman Rachel Beining (Ottoville) led the Beavers with 15 points on 5-of-10 from the field in her first collegiate action. She pulled down five boards, blocked a shot and picked up two steals. Senior Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) and sophomore Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) just missed double figures with nine points apiece. Burkholder was a perfect 3-of-3 from the floor. Sophomore Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) handed out a game-high five dimes to go along with her eight points on 3-of-5 shooting. Junior Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) chipped in with six points and five rebounds, while sophomore Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) added seven points and seven caroms.
The Beavers will face the loser of North Central and Ripon on Saturday, Nov. 16, at 1 PM (EST) in the consolation final of the Chicago Marriott Naperville Tip-Off Tournament.