2014-15 Women's Basketball
Albion 80, Bluffton 73
December 28, 2014
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Despite a late first half run, the Bluffton University women's basketball team came up short of a victory on Sunday, Dec. 28, as they fell to the Albion College Britons, 80-73, in the semifinals of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament. The early contest was won by Denison as the Big Red defeated Muskingum 71-63. The Britons improved to 7-3 on the season while the Beavers fell to 6-3.
After the teams traded buckets early, the Britons used a quick 6-0 spurt to get their lead out to 19-11 at the 11:57 mark of the half. The Beavers trailed by 10 (25-15) at the 9:46 mark, when they responded with a 17-2 run en route to a 32-27 lead five minutes later. A hoop-and-harm from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) followed by back-to-back buckets from Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) knotted the game at 27. Rachel Beining (Ottoville) got to the rack before buckets from Sheerer and Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) pushed the spread to seven with 3:36 left in the half, the Beavers' largest lead of the contest.
After trailing by three at the break, the Britons responded with a 6-0 run to begin the second stanza. Then two straight baskets from Beining and another by senior Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) put the Beavers back out front. However, a 12-4 run from Albion foiled Bluffton as the visitors would never trail the rest of the way.
The key to the Britons' victory was their shooting, as they drilled 53.3 percent (29-of-55) from the floor. Albion also shot 28 freebies, making 17 of them (60.7 percent). The Beavers shot just 38.0 percent (30-of-79) from the field, 20 percent from deep (4-of-20) and 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from the charity stripe. Bluffton held a slight 43-42 edge on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds for the Beavers. The home team committed six fewer turnovers (15-9) in the loss.
Bluffton finished with five scorers in double figures, led by Taylor Whitaker who scored 16 points. Macey Sheerer added 12 points with eight boards and five dimes, while Kurilec and Beining chipped in 11 points apiece with seven boards each. Knight also scored 11 and had six assists. Albion was led by Darian Payne who dominated the post with 25 points on 12-of-13 shooting and added 10 rebounds in the win.
The Beavers will play in the consolation game of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament on Monday, Dec. 29, at 12 p.m. against the Muskingum University Fighting Muskies. Live Video for the Bluffton women's game can be accessed at http://new.livestream.com/bluffton/. The championship contest will begin at 5 p.m. and feature the Britons who will take on Denison University. Come support your Beavers!