2014-15 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 86, Defiance 78
January 14, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women earned another key conference victory on Wednesday, Jan. 14 as they defeated their arch-rival Defiance College, 86-78. The Beavers had a very balanced scoring attack, placing five in double figures against the Jackets. The win makes the Beavers 10-4, including 5-2 in HCAC play, and still within striking distance of the top of the conference, while Defiance fell to 4-10 (3-4 HCAC).
The teams traded buckets early, before a quick 7-0 Bluffton spurt, including four points from Taylor Knight (Perrysburg), gave the Beavers a 14-6 advantage. Bluffton pushed the lead into double digits on a lay-in from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus), making the score 23-13 with 10:49 left in the half. The visitors responded with a 5-0 run and pulled within three at the break. Defiance’s Kelsey Tietje was the story for the Yellow Jackets with 12 points and 10 boards in the first 20 minutes of action.
Early in the second stanza the Beavers put together another run, started by a triple from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) and capped by four straight freebies from the home team to get the lead back to double figures. After a Sharai Allen hoop-and-harm for Defiance, Bluffton would score four more for a 14-point spread. Defiance continued to scrap, pulling within six at the 5:17 mark. Sheerer and Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) helped push Bluffton’s lead back to 10 briefly, but Defiance responded and get it down to five once again with just 3:17 remaining. However, Pennekamp and Whitaker both hit jumpers as the home squad finished off its 86-78 victory.
The Beavers were able to earn the victory despite losing the battle of the boards, 43-33, including a game-high 18 boards from Tietje. Bluffton, however, shot lights out from the field as they finished 27-of-52 (51.9 percent) and 29-of-37 (78.4 percent) from the charity stripe. Defiance hit just 36.2 percent (25-of-69) from the floor.
The Beavers finished with five in double figures on the night, led by Taylor Knight’s career-high tying 17 points and eight assists. Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) finished with 15 points, tying her career high, on 6-of-7 shooting off the bench. Kaitlyn Pennekamp added 14 points and three steals, while Macey Sheerer tallied 13 points and eight boards. Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, nine rebounds and three steals, which tied a career high . Taylor Whitaker also finished with seven tallies for Bluffton. Defiance was led by a huge game from Kelsey Tietje who scored 25 and had 18 boards in a losing effort.
Bluffton will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 17, as the Beavers welcome the Transylvania Pioneers who sit atop the HCAC standings at 7-0 and are 13-1 overall, ranked #19 in the latest Division III Top 25 Poll. Game time is set for 2 p.m. at the Sommer Center. Come support your Beavers!