2014-15 Women's Basketball
Franklin 78, Bluffton 68
December 6, 2014
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Franklin College Grizzlies used a late second half push to separate themselves from the Bluffton University women’s basketball team, earning a big 78-68 early season HCAC victory on Saturday, Dec. 6. The loss snapped Bluffton’s five-game winning streak and brought their record to 5-2 and 1-1 in Heartland Conference play. The Grizzlies improved to 4-1 and 2-0 in the HCAC.
The game went back and forth early with Franklin holding a 13-12 advantage at the 11:39 mark of the first half. However, six quick Franklin points pushed the lead to seven. Senior Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) responded with six of Bluffton's next eight points, but the Grizzlies answered to extend the lead into double digits. The spread for Franklin went as high as 13 before an 8-2 Bluffton run made it seven at the break.
Bluffton continued the trend into the second half, going on a 16-9 spurt to open the stanza. After the teams exchanged buckets, a triple from Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) and back-to-back deuces by Rachel Beining (Ottoville) pulled the Beavers within three.
Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) tallied five straight points for the Beavers, knotting the game at 44 apiece at the 15:16 mark. However, Franklin outscored the visitors 34-24 the rest of the way despite Whitaker’s huge 16-point second half performance.
The key stat of the game was the rebounding category, where the Grizzlies out-muscled the Beavers to a dominating 44-24 edge on the glass. Bluffton also struggled shooting the rock, going just 22-of-57 (38.6 percent) from the floor, including 3-of-13 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies were a sound 26-of-54 (48.1 percent) and 4-of-9 (44.4 percent), respectively. Franklin was able to earn the win despite 18 turnovers, compared to only 11 for the visitors.
Bluffton was led by Whitaker and her 18 points, 16 of those coming in the second stanza. Whitaker also contributed three boards and two assists. Freshman phenom Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) and Rachel Beining both added 11 points apiece in a losing effort. Franklin had four in double figures, led by Katie Brewer who scored 21 points with 14 boards, 10 of those coming in the opening half.
The Beavers will return home next Saturday, Dec. 13 for a post-finals week showdown with the 1-4 Anderson University Ravens. The game is slated to tip at 2 p.m. Come support your Beavers!