2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 75, MSJ 44
January 6, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team continued their impressive streak on Wednesday, Jan. 6 with a 75-44 road win over the Mount St. Joseph University Lions. The victory pushed Bluffton to a perfect 12-0 on the year, as they stand alone atop the conference with a 5-0 mark. MSJ fell to 3-9 overall and 2-3 in HCAC action.
After a quick 2-0 MSJ led, the Beavers scored seven straight, starting with a deuce from Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) and followed by a three-ball from Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East). Bluffton capped off the run with a jumper from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) to take a 7-2 advantage. The Beavers kept it going with consecutive triples from Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) for an eight-point lead with 3:13 to play in the opening stanza. The Lions trimmed it to five before a free throw from Whitaker and a bucket by Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) made it 20-12 after one quarter.
The Lions would cut the lead to four early in the second before a hoop-and-harm from Whitaker and back-to-back deuces by Sheerer handed Bluffton a 27-16 cushion at the 5:15 mark. The Mount hit two more freebies to cut it to nine before another Sheerer layup and a split at the line for Beining made it 30-18 at the break.
The third quarter saw MSJ make another run at the Bluffton lead, cutting it to 31-26 just three minutes into the stanza. But three straight triples, two from Knight sandwiched around a deep ball from Pennekamp, got the lead right back to 14 points. After the home team briefly cut it to 12, the Beavers rolled off nine points in a row, including four straight freebies to make it 49-28. Rowe capped off the quarter with another hit from distance, making it a 23-point game after three.
The two teams battled through the first portion of the final quarter and saw the lead sitting at 24 points with 4:05 remaining. The Bluffton bench would go on a run to end the game, as a triple from Erika MotIejunas (Mentor), the first of her career, followed by one from Ashley Salyer(Marion/River Valley) helped the visitors open a 30-point spread. The lead went as high as 34 on a trifecta from senior Belicia Cooper(Painesville/Riverside) before finishing with the 75-44 victory.
Bluffton had an excellent shooting night, hitting 54.2 percent from the floor (26-of-48), as well as beyond the arc (13-of-24). The Mount struggled from the field, converting on just 22 percent (11-of-50) of its attempts. The Beavers also led MSJ on the boards, 36-29, while handing out 16 more assists (22-6).
The Beavers were led in scoring by Taylor Knight with a stellar shooting night, scoring 16 and hitting a career-high 4-of-5 from the outside and 6-of-7 overall to go along with three steals and two assists. Kaitlyn Pennekamp also finished in double digits, scoring 11 on 3-of-5 from deep. Macey Sheerer finished with nine points and she led the Beavers with seven boards. Sheerer also finished with career highs in steals (four) and blocks (two).
MSJ was led by Erica Walsh with 12 points. Ciera Phillips added 11 tallies and 12 rebounds in a losing effort for the Lions.
The Beavers wrap up their three-game road swing with a trip to Anderson on Saturday, Jan. 9 when they take on the Ravens at 2 p.m. Bluffton returns home on Wednesday, Jan. 13, to battle the Manchester University Spartans back at the Sommer Center. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. Come support your Beavers!