2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 87, Hanover 68
January 16, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team continued its hot streak as they used a big third quarter to cruise to an 87-68 victory over the Hanover College Panthers on Saturday, Jan. 16. The win keeps Bluffton’s unblemished record alive, moving the Beavers to 15-0 overall and 8-0 in conference play. Hanover dropped to 7-8 overall and 3-5 in HCAC action. The win was just Bluffton’s second victory over the Panthers in their previous 14 contests.
After Hanover took a quick 3-0 lead, the Beavers would score 16 of the next 18 counters, including six from Rachel Beining (Ottoville) and five from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington), to give the home team a 16-5 lead at the 5:11 mark. Hanover fought back with a 12-4 run to end the quarter, making it 20-17 after the first stanza.
The Panthers rolled off the first four points of the second quarter to take a brief 21-20 lead in the opening minute. But the Beavers would quickly battle back with four straight points from Whitaker and a hoop-and-harm by Beining to put Bluffton back in front, 27-21. After a Panther hoop, Whitaker would add four more points and Macey Sheerer put in a layup to get the lead back to 33-23 at the 4:23 mark. Hanover pulled within five points, but the Beavers scored nine of the final 10 tallies of the half, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe and taking a 42-29 lead into the locker room.
Hanover would hang around, still trailing by just 11 early in the third before Bluffton finished the quarter on a 22-5 spurt to put the game away. The run started with eight straight from four different Beavers to bump their lead to 19 points. After an Allison Nash triple for Hanover, the Beavers added a bucket from Sheerer and an old-fashioned three-point play for Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) made it a 59-38 game. After a hoop from Hanover, Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) capped another 9-0 run to finish the quarter as Sheerer added a deuce and Whitaker checked in with five straight points to end the third with Bluffton taking a commanding 68-40 lead.
The rout was on to start the fourth as Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) scored seven markers of her own in the first four minutes of the final quarter, including a bucket plus the foul to give Bluffton its largest lead, an 82-47 cushion with 6:33 to go. Hanover would outscore Bluffton, 18-5, as the reserves entered the contest, but the game was far out of reach and Bluffton wrapped up their 19-point victory!
The Beavers finished with another outstanding shooting performance, converting 52.2 percent (35-of-67) from the floor and 14-of-17 (82.4 percent) at the stripe. Hanover finished at just 24-of-69 (34.8 percent) from the floor in the loss. The Beavers outrebounded the Panthers, 45-39, while committing one more turnover (17-16). The home squad also keyed the win by controlling the paint, outscoring Hanover inside, 58-32.
Bluffton also finished a very balanced scoring attack, with five scoring in double figures. They were led by Taylor Whitaker and her season-high 20 points on 7-of-11 from the floor. That also puts Whitaker into eighth on the all-time scoring list with 938 career tallies. Macey Sheerer went for 16 counters and eight rebounds. Rachel Beining stuffed the stat sheet with 15 markers, eight boards, six stuffs, five dimes, and three swipes; while Kaycee Rowe chipped in 13 points, seven reounds and tied a career-high with five assists. Kaitlyn Pennekamp came off the bench to add 12 points, four boards and three steals, while Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) handed out eight assists in an all-around team effort!
Bluffton heads north on Wednesday, Jan. 20 for their next test, as they take on the arch-rival Defiance College Yellow Jackets in a double dipper. The women’s game will tip at 6 p.m. with the men’s game to follow. The Beavers return home for a key HCAC battle with the Franklin College Grizzlies, who currently sit in a three-way tie for second behind the Beavers, in the HCAC standings. That contest will be the second game of the day in the Sommer Center with a 4 p.m. tip. Come support your Beavers!