2014-15 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 79, Defiance 54
January 28, 2015
DEFIANCE, Ohio - A 28-10 jag by the Bluffton University women during the first 10 minutes of period two sent the Beavers to a convincing 79-54 victory over rival Defiance on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The second half explosion helped Bluffton hand Coach Shutler career victory 100 in front of a nearly-packed house at the Weaner Center. The Beavers improved to 13-5 overall and 8-3 in the Heartland Conference following the rare season sweep of Defiance, while the Jackets slipped to 6-12 and 5-6 in the conference.
Junior ball handler Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) got to the rack following a Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) steal, igniting a 10-2 Bluffton run to open the second half and the Beavers never looked back. Consecutive Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) fastbreak layups put Bluffton up by three before buckets by Knight and sophomore Rachel Beining (Ottoville) made the score 38-31 just over five minutes in.
The visitors pushed the lead to 17 thanks to a Pennekamp triple and an old-fashioned three-point play by Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) as the Beavers kept their foot on the gas. Four Coburn freebies sandwiched around layins by Knight and Pennekamp made the score 65-44, leaving the final score as the only blank to fill in.
Back-to-back Whitaker trifectas with the clock winding down pounded the point home that Bluffton meant business as the Beavers celebrated a victory over rival Defiance for the second time in just two weeks.
The first half was a series of runs as Bluffton went out to a 15-6 lead just over eight minutes in following a hoop-and-harm for freshman Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus). The home team responded with 16 straight counters for a 22-15 advantage and the Jackets still led 26-20 with 3:29 on the clock before Bluffton used an 8-3 spurt to pull within one (29-28) at the break.
Whitaker hit 6-of-12 from the field, including an efficient 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. She was also a perfect 5-of-5 from the line en route to a team-best 21 points. Pennekamp was spot on with 18 points thanks to 8-of-15 shooting from the field. Sheerer just missed out on a double-double with 11 points and nine boards, while Coburn added nine points and seven rebounds. Beining and Knight chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively. Kurilec added eight boards, four steals and three assists for the victors.
Bluffton hit 25-of-62 from the field (40.3 percent), including 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from distance, while Defiance finished a paltry 19-of-60 (31.7 percent) on field goals. The Beavers were outstanding at the line, hitting 24-of-29 (82.8 percent). Bluffton pulled down six more rebounds (46-40) and turned it over five fewer times (18-13).
The Bluffton women return to action on Saturday, Jan. 31, when the Beavers welcome Hanover College for a Heartland Conference showdown in the Sommer Center. Tip-off is slated for 1 p.m. as part of a triple-header on Saturday. The women's Alumni Game will kick off at 10 a.m. while the Hanover men take on Bluffton at 3 p.m.