2015-16 Women's Basketball
#21 Bluffton 75, Mount St. Joseph 46
January 27, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team cruised to a sweep of the season series over the Mount St. Joseph University Lions with a 75-46 victory on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The victory kept #21 Bluffton’s record unscathed at 18-0 overall and 11-0 in HCAC play. The Lions fell to 5-13 and 4-7 in conference action.
Bluffton took the lead following the opening tap as Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) hit a layup and Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) drilled her first attempt from downtown to give the Beavers a 5-0 margin to open the contest. After a Mount bucket, Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) sandwiched two fast break deuces around a lay-in by Rowe and Bluffton led 11-2. Bluffton would expand its lead to nine points on a layup from Rowe and again on two freebies by Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum) later in the stanza. The Lions battled back to within six points before Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) hit a jumper to end the period and give Bluffton a 19-11 lead.
MSJ would get it to six before a Pennekamp hit from beyond the arc got it back to nine. She would score a point on a free throw to make it 23-13 two minutes into the second. Maria Sams knocked down a three to pull within seven points before an 8-0 Bluffton spurt sparked by an and-one by Beining, a triple from Whitaker and two more foul shots from Pennekamp made it 33-16 at the 2:28 mark. MSJ cut the deficit to 15 before another Whitaker triple made it an 18-point game, where it would stay entering the locker room at 39-21.
It was a 41-23 game early in the third period when the Beavers silenced any chance at a Mount comeback with a 15-0 spurt. The run began with free throws from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus), followed by a hoop-and-harm by Beining and back-to-back three-balls from Whitaker, her fourth and fifth of the contest. The jag finished with buckets from Pennekamp and O’Donnell to give the Beavers their largest lead of the game, 56-23, at the 3:29 mark. The Lions made it a 25-point game after three quarters (60-35).
The Beavers would outscore the MSJ 15-11 in the fourth quarter en route to the 75-46 rout. In the final stanza, Whitaker drained her sixth triple of the contest, tying the school record for three-pointers made in a game.
The Beavers finished with a respectable performance from the floor, shooting 46.6 percent (27-of-58), but a red-hot 7-of-14 (50 percent) from deep. The Lions finished at just 24.6 percent (15-of-61) from the floor and 20 percent (4-of-20) outside the arc. Bluffton held a decisive rebounding advantage at 49-29. The home team did struggle with 20 giveaways on the contest, compared to 16 for the Lions.
The #21 Beavers were led by Taylor Whitaker, who scored 20 points on a blistering 6-for-8 from beyond the arc! Those 20 points bring her career total to 970 and move her into eighth on the Bluffton all-time scoring list, passing Tina Verhoff (82-85). Kaycee Rowe added 13 points, seven boards, and four assists, while Kaitlyn Pennekamp finished with 13 counters and five rebounds for the Beavers. Macey Sheerer scored just six points but also added 12 rebounds and four dimes in the victory. Rachel Beining also finished with eight points and six boards, but her first board gave her 500 for her career (10th all-time). Taylor Knight’s four assists on the contest also moved her into a tie for second (335) with Jill Laughlin and Beth Crates on the Bluffton career list.
The Lions finished with just one in double figures as Bristyl Webb scored 14 points with five boards and three steals in a losing effort.
The Beavers hit the road on Saturday for a key HCAC battle in Terre Haute, Ind. They will take on the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin’ Engineers, a team that has won 10 consecutive contests, their last loss coming in the Sommer Center on December 12, and sits in the runner-up spot in the conference standings. The game is set to tip at 3:30 p.m. and has live video at . That is just the start of a three-game road swing as the Beavers will not return home until Wednesday, Feb. 10, when they take on arch-rival Defiance College at 6 p.m. in the Sommer Center. Come support your Beavers!