2014-15 Women's Basketball
Manchester 64, Bluffton 55
February 4, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Manchester University used a 17-5 run to begin the second half to propel the Spartans to a 64-55 victory over the Bluffton women on Wednesday, Feb. 4. The Bluffton loss was a key one in the HCAC standings, as the Beavers slipped to 8-5 and fourth place in the conference. They are 13-7 overall. Manchester improved to 10-10 and 7-6 in the HCAC which ties them for fifth.
Manchester started hot, taking a 10-4 lead in the first four minutes of action. Bluffton would keep it to single digits, cutting the lead to three on a Rachel Beining (Ottoville) layin at the 10:58 mark before the Spartans scored 11 of the next 13 points to take a 28-16 lead with 7:28 left in the stanza. Bluffton responded with seven straight points as a Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) triple capped it at the 5:40 mark. Whitaker would add another layup and three-pointer between Manchester buckets to get it to three. The Spartans scored the final four of the period for a 35-28 halftime advantage.
The home team would start the second half with more fire, as the Spartans expanded the lead to as many as 19 at 52-33 with 11:49 remaining. Bluffton had no quit, though, as an 8-0 spurt on a Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) deuce, four from Whitaker, and a bucket from Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) made it 52-41 with six minutes to play.
A Whitaker triple cut the deficit to eight after a bucket and another hoop from Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) made the lead seven with 2:58 left. A Coburn deuce trimmed it to five points and a Whitaker technical freebie helped the Beavers pull within four. Manchester pushed it to six before four straight points from Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) made it a three-point game with just 1:34 remaining. However, the Spartans scored the final six points to shut the door and earn the 64-55 win.
The Bluffton shooting woes continued on Wednesday, as the Beavers shot just 35.6 percent (21-of-59), while the home team hit 41.2 percent (21-of-51). The Spartans also connected on 50 percent (5-of-10) of their threes, to Bluffton’s 28.6 percent (4-of-14). The rebounds ended all square at 38 apiece, while Bluffton committed just one more turnover (19-18). Manchester’s bench also outscored Bluffton’s, 28-15.
Taylor Whitaker led Bluffton as she finished with 19 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. Taylor Knight added eight points, five boards, and four steals, while Rachel Beining had nine rebounds to go along with her six tallies. Mikayla Coburn chipped in with five points and seven rebounds. Manchester was led by Katie Arterburn with 15 off the bench, while Justine Kruger finished with 13.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Feb. 7, as they host their final home doubleheader of the season when they take on Franklin College. Game time is set for 4 p.m. in the Sommer Center as the women’s contest will follow the men’s matchup with the Grizzlies. Come support your Beavers!