2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 66, Manchester 32
January 13, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team used a big first quarter to pull away from the Manchester University Spartans, rolling up a 66-32 win on Wednesday, Jan. 13. The victory keeps their unbeaten streak alive as they improved to 14-0 overall and 7-0 in the HCAC, two games better than anybody else in the league. The Spartans fell to 4-10 and 2-5 in Heartland Conference play. The 32 points allowed were the fewest given up by a Bluffton women's basketball team since the Beavers bested Siena Heights 41-31 in the opening game of the 1975-76 season, a mere 40 years ago!
The Beavers wasted no time in getting the scoring started as they went off for the first 18 points of the contest. The scoring was ignited by a jumper from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) right off the opening tap. Following one miss, the Beavers would score on five straight possessions, starting with a triple from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) and two Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) freebies. Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) would go on to score seven straight points for the 14-0 advantage. Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) added a deuce and Sheerer drained two free throws to give the home team an 18-0 cushion following Manchester's second timeout in the first six minutes of play. The Spartans got it to 20-4 before the Beavers converted four free throws from Pennekamp sandwiched around an Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) layup to make it 26-4 after one quarter.
The Beavers outscored the Spartans 7-6 in the second period for a decided 34-10 halftime advantage. The ten points were the fewest number of points given up in a half in the modern era for the Beavers.
Bluffton led 38-16 at the 6:22 mark, but would then pour in seven straight markers, including three from Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum) to take a 45-16 lead. After two Manchester makes from the stripe, Bluffton would finish with five straight, including four points from Ashley Salyer (Marion/River Valley) to give the home team a 52-18 lead after three. That lead mushroomed as high as 37 in the fourth period on a triple from Pennekamp at the 6:02 mark as the Beavers cruised to their 14th victory in as many tries!
Bluffton’s shooting was a key to the shellacking, as they hit 21-of-44 (47.7 percent) from the floor and sank 21-of-26 (80.8 percent) at the line. Manchester struggled from the field, finishing 11-of-51 (21.6 percent) and 0-for-12 from deep. Manchester ended the contest with 25 turnovers, while Bluffton committed just 17 miscues. Bluffton was unselfish, posting a 17-5 edge in assists. Manchester narrowly won the battle of the boards, 35-34.
The Beavers finished with two in double figures, led by Kaitlyn Pennekamp and her 15 points on 5-of-6 from the floor, as well as three boards and two assists. Kaycee Rowe added 10 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Rachel Beining finished with just five points, but led the team with nine boards, four assists and four blocks in the win. Manchester was led by Samantha Bolen with 11 points and seven rebounds in a losing effort.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 16, as they take on the Hanover College Panthers in the Sommer Center for Alumni Day! The alumni game will tip at 10 a.m. with the main attraction to follow at 1 p.m. Come support your Beavers!