2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 76, Defiance 70
January 20, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team earned their 16th victory in as many tries on Wednesday, Jan. 20 as they held on for a 76-70 road win over rival Defiance College. The Beavers improved their record to a spotless 16-0 and make the turn in conference play with a 9-0 mark. The Yellow Jackets fell to 3-13 and 2-7 in HCAC action. The victory also marked career win 121 for Head Coach Chad Shutler, tying him with Michelle Durand for the most victories in Bluffton women's basketball history!
The Yellow Jackets started hot from the floor, taking a quick 6-2 advantage in the opening stanza. The Beavers would respond and tie it with a bucket by Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) before taking the lead with three straight counters by Taylor Knight (Perrysburg). The Yellow Jackets would strike back with nine straight to garner a six-point edge (15-9) at the 2:32 mark, before four consecutive freebies and a jumper at the horn by Knight made it 15-15 after one quarter.
A jumper from Rachel Beining (Ottoville) gave the Beavers a lead to open the second stanza. After a triple handed Defiance the advantage, another Beining deuce and a three-ball by Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) gave Bluffton a 22-18 lead. Defiance would respond with the next five points to go up by one. The two teams exchanged baskets before a quick five-point spurt, that included a Knight layup and three points from Sheerer, put Bluffton back up by four late in the half. The lead would grow to five, 34-29, at the break.
The Beavers quickly extended the lead to double digits with a jumper from Beining and a triple by Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington), making it 39-29 two minutes into the half. Defiance would roar back with seven straight markers to pull within 41-38 just two minutes later. The visitors would briefly get it back to eight on a Rowe triple and a bucket by Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross), but Defiance again responded. The teams exchanged buckets and the Bluffton lead would be cut to 54-51 on a shot at the buzzer from Kelsey Tietje, giving her eight third quarter points.
Defiance would get the lead to one to open the third, but Bluffton pushed it to five on back-to-back deuces from Sheerer before a three by Brittany Osborne cut it to two. The Beavers would continue to fight to extend their advantage, getting it to nine points (70-61) with 2:31 to play. Defiance answered with five consecutive points to make it a four-point game with under a minute to play, but the Beavers knocked down their opportunities at the foul line to take the 76-70 win.
The Beavers finished the contest shooting a tough 43.3 percent (26-of-60) from the floor, including 30 percent (3-of-10) from beyond the arc, while the Yellow Jackets hit a red-hot 50 percent (29-of-58) from the floor and 57.1 percent (8-of-14) from deep. The key to the Beaver victory was the charity stripe yet again as the visitors shot 29 freebies in the contest, making 21 of them (72.4 percent), while the Yellow Jackets were just 4-of-5 (80 percent). Defiance also won the rebounding battle, 34-32. However, the home team committed 17 turnovers, compared to just six for Bluffton.
Bluffton finished with three players in double figures, led by Rachel Beining, who scored 19 points while grabbing three boards and three takeaways. Taylor Knight tied her career high with 17 markers while dishing out four assists and tying her all-time best with two blocks. Macey Sheerer also finished with 17 points and she grabbed six rebounds. Kaycee Rowe tallied seven points and ripped down 11 boards on the night. Kelsey Tietje paced DC with 24 points and 14 boards.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 23, in the Sommer Center as they take on the Franklin College Grizzlies. The women’s contest will follow the men’s game and tip at around 4 p.m. Come support your Beavers!