2014-15 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 67, Franklin 61
February 7, 2015
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - It was Hall of Fame Day at Bluffton University on Saturday, Feb. 7, and the home team delighted the honorees with a 67-61 victory over Franklin College. This win moves the Beavers to 14-7 overall and 9-5 in Heartland Conference play, and it propelled the Beavers into a third place tie with the Grizzlies in the HCAC behind Transylvania and Hanover. This loss dropped Franklin to 11-9 on the season and 9-5 in conference play. It also marked the first time in school history that the women have defeated Franklin in consecutive seasons following a 59-54 win over the Grizzlies on December 7, 2013.
It was a slow start for the Beavers as their first made field goal came at the 14:36 for a 7-6 lead. Both teams traded baskets over the next several minute, until a jumper by RACHEL BEINING (Ottoville) and a couple of free throws from TAYLOR WHITAKER (Mansfield/Lexington) gave them a four-point lead, 27-23, with 2:18 left in the half. The Grizzles answered with back-to-back threes by RILEY ACHENBACh and KAYLE COMER, with MADI KOLTHOFF assisting both of them. The home team went on a 6-0 run in the final 1:00 of the first half for a 33-29 spread at the end of the first stanza.
Franklin knotted it up at the 18:08 mark after a layup by MANDY FISHER and a jumper from LAUREN DESUTTER. Following triple by KAITLYN PENNEKAMP (Hamilton/Ross), the Beavers were up 51-47 with 10:22 left. The Grizzles pulled within one, but an offensive rebound and putback by MACEY SHEERER (Bucyrus) and a layup by TAYLOR KNIGHT (Perrysburg) pushed the margin to 55-50 with 6:43 remaining. The teams traded baskets for the next three minutes, with Franklin pulling within two with less than two minutes remaining. However, the Beavers went 4-of-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute with Franklin unable to answer as Bluffton held on for the 67-61 victory.
Whitaker led the Beavers in points with 19 and she was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Also contributing for Bluffton was Sheerer who collected 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Beining added 10 points and eight boards in the win.
Bluffton shot 43.5 percent (20-for-46) from the field to Franklin's 36.7 percent (18-for-49). The Beavers won the rebounding battle, 35-28, but had trouble taking care of the ball as they turned it over 20 times, four more than the Grizzlies. Bluffton went 25-for-30 (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe, while Franklin converted 17-for-22 (77.3 percent).
The final regular season home game for the women will be against Mount St. Joseph this Wednesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. It will be Senior Night for BRENNA KURILEC (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and MIKAYLA COBURN (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley). Come out and support them and the rest of the Beaver squad in the Sommer Center!