2015-16 Women's Basketball
Whitewater 66, Bluffton 54
March 4, 2016
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
ST LOUIS, Mo. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team may have come up short on the scoreboard against the Warhawks but the Beavers gave Bluffton a season to remember! Wisconsin-Whitewater used its extensive tournament experience to pull away from the Beavers late in the fourth period for a 66-54 victory on Friday, March 4. Bluffton ended its season with a sparkling 25-3 mark while Whitewater improved to 20-7 as it awaits the Washington-Greenville winner for a chance at the Sweet 16 tomorrow night.
A Rachel Beining (Ottoville) chip shot followed by a Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) deep ball gave the Beavers a quick 5-2 lead, but nine straight counters for the Warhawks turned their three-point deficit into a six-point advantage. Sophomore Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) knocked down a jumper and senior Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) buried a trifecta as Bluffton trailed 15-11 after period one.
The home team on the scoreboard pushed it to 19-11 two minutes into the second quarter before 11 straight counters for the Beavers made it 22-19 at the 5:50 mark. Whitaker scored eight and Sheerer's hoop-and-harm rounded out the Bluffton jag as the Beavers seemed to be in control. However, the Warhawks used a 13-7 run late in the quarter, including a triple with five seconds left, to take a 32-29 lead into the break.
A Jaya Perkins deep ball early in the third helped Whitewater open up a 38-31 spread just over three minutes into the half. Four Sheerer points, a Pennekamp jumper and a Beining deuce pulled Bluffton within a point, 42-41, at the 1:26 mark, but the Warhawks again ruled the end of the quarter, taking a 49-43 lead into the final period.
Whitaker dialed long distance with 6:54 to play, making the score 54-48, but that was as close as the Beavers could get. The standout senior converted an old-fashioned three-point play at the 1:16 mark to cap the Bluffton scoring as the Beavers fell by a 66-54 count in their inaugural trip to the Big Dance.
Leading the way for Bluffton was Taylor Whitaker who notched 17 points in her final game as a Beaver. Macey Sheerer went 5-of-10 from the field for 13 markers. Beining and Pennekamp chipped in with eight and seven points, respectively. Sheerer just missed a double-double with eight rebounds while Beining pulled down six boards despite being saddled with foul trouble all night. Rowe picked up a team-high three steals.
Bluffton struggled to a 19-of-56 night from the field (33.9 percent) and Whitewater wasn't much better at 22-of-57 (38.6 percent), but the Warhawks hit three more triples (7-4). Whitewater owned the glass with a 46-36 rebounding edge, including a 17-11 advantage on the offensive end.
Congratulations to the Bluffton women's basketball team. It has been a season to remember from start to finish! A special thank to seniors Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside), Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison), Taylor Knight, Marina Lyons (Springfield/Catholic), Taylor Whitaker and Kaitlyn Pennekamp for their leadership and work ethic over the past four years. We will miss you greatly!