2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 75, Franklin 56
January 23, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team started the back half of conference the same way they finished the first round, continuing their winning ways with a 75-56 victory over Franklin College on Saturday, Jan. 23. The win puts the Beavers at 17-0 on the season and an unblemished 10-0 in HCAC play, while Franklin drops to 11-6 (7-3 in the HCAC). It marks the first time in Bluffton women's history that the Beavers have swept the Grizzlies following a come-from-behind 69-68 win at Franklin back on January 2! The victory also marked career win 122 for Head Coach Chad Shutler, helping him move past Michelle Durand for the most coaching victories in Bluffton women's basketball history!
The opening five minutes were a battle of defenses with the visitors up by one in the early going. The Beavers responded quickly, scoring 10 of the next 12 markers with points from four different women as Bluffton opened a 16-9 advantage. The Grizzlies would trim it down to a three-point game before a layup from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) and a triple by Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) gave the home team a 21-13 lead after one period.
Bluffton continued to attack in the second quarter, opening on a 15-4 spurt that included three straight triples for the Beavers, two from Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) and another from Whitaker, to give them a 34-17 advantage at the 6:56 mark. Franklin would keep themselves in contention heading to the locker room, however, by scoring the final five points of the half to cut the Beaver lead to 37-27 at the break.
The home team came out firing to open the third quarter as Rowe scored five counters in Bluffton’s 7-0 run for a 17 point spread (46-29) just three minutes in. The Beavers would get the lead to 18 markers on a fast break bucket from Sheerer in the middle of the third quarter before Franklin cut it to 53-40 at the 1:27 mark. Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) quickly dashed any hopes of a comeback with four straight points at the end of the stanza to put her team up, 57-40.
The final stanza saw Bluffton continue to control, as Sheerer hit a deuce and Rowe drained her fifth triple of the contest to put Bluffton up, 62-40, in the opening minute of the quarter. The Beaver lead would stay above 20 until the final two minutes of the contest as Bluffton cruised to victory number 17 against no losses.
The Beavers continued their hot shooting ways as they drilled 30-of-56 for 53.6 percent from the field, and a staggering 7-of-14 (50 percent) from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies shot just 37.3 percent (22-of-59) from the floor and 3-of-10 (30 percent) from deep. Bluffton edged the visitors on the boards, 33-30, and committed two more turnovers (14-12) in the contest. Bluffton also shared the ball, finishing with 23 assists on 30 hits from the floor.
Individually, the Beavers were led by a monster day from Kaycee Rowe, as she scored a career-high 27 points on just 8-of-11 from the floor. Rowe also hit a career-best five triples on seven attempts and added nine rebounds, three assists and two steals without a turnover in 34 minutes of action. Kaitlyn Pennekamp added 16 markers, most of which came in transition, while Macey Sheerer just missed a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Rachel Beining (Ottoville) filled the stat sheet with six counters and five dimes, which ties a career high. Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) led the team with seven assists.
Franklin finished with two scorers in double digits, led by Katie Brewer with 20 points and seven boards. Kelsey Smith also came through with 13 points and six rebounds in the loss.
Bluffton is right back in the Sommer Center on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to take on the Mount St. Joseph Lions. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m. Come support your Beavers!