2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 85, Heidelberg 79
November 24, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team continued its winning ways as the Beavers knocked off the Heidelberg Student Princes, 85-79, in front of a raucous pre-Thanksgiving crowd in the Sommer Center on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Bluffton improved to 3-0 on the young season, while the Student Princes dropped to 2-2.
The first five minutes of the opening quarter went back-and-forth with the Student Princes holding an 11-9 lead at the 5:05 mark. From there, back-to-back triples by Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) and Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) sparked an 11-0 Bluffton run which gave the Beavers a nine-point advantage before Heidelberg scored four straight to make it 20-15 after a quarter.
The home team continued their hot streak in the second stanza, scoring 10 of the quarter’s first 12 markers, including points from four different players for a 30-17 Bluffton lead at the 7:30 mark. The Student Princes would battle back to within five points, down just 39-34 at the break.
Heidelberg continued to battle back in the third quarter, trimming the deficit to a single point just two and a half minutes in. The Beavers halted that run with a pair of Sheerer freebies and four straight markers from Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) to get the lead back to seven. The free throw battle controlled the stanza, however, as Bluffton pushed the lead up to double digits with a 25-point quarter, making the score 64-53 after three periods.
The visitors would not go away, cutting the deficit to four points (72-68) with just 3:39 remaining, but that was as close as it got. The Beavers knocked down their foul shots when it counted, shooting 24-of-31 (77.4 percent) in the second half and holding on for the 85-79 victory.
One of the keys to the win came from taking care of the basketball, as the Beavers committed just seven turnovers while creating 16 takeaways. Heidelberg did control the boards, however, outrebounding Bluffton, 44-32, including grabbing 15 off the offensive glass. Bluffton shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor, compared to Heidelberg’s 43.1 percent (28-of-65) shooting night. Bluffton knocked down 6-of-15 (40 percent) from deep, while the Student Princes hit just 5-of-19 (26.3 percent). The Beavers also shot almost double the free throws, draining 80.6 percent (29-of-36) from the stripe, while The Berg finished 18-of-21 (85.7 percent).
Sheerer led Bluffton with a monster game, finishing just shy of her career high with 25 points and 10 rebounds, putting up her second double-double in just three games. She also grabbed three steals and finished 8-of-13 from the floor and 8-for-9 at the free throw line. Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) went for 15 points and a team-high six dimes, while fellow senior Kaitlyn Pennekamp also added 15 points and four swipes for the Beavers.
Heidelberg finished with four in double figures and was led by Theresa Jackson, who had 28 points off the bench in just 21 minutes, while Shelby Dearth added 16 counters.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Nov. 28, when they hit the road to take on the Kalamazoo College Hornets at 2 p.m. Bluffton returns home for a big HCAC opening tilt, as they take on the top team in the preseason HCAC Coaches’ Poll, the Transylvania University Pioneers. That showdown is set to tip at 2 p.m. in the Sommer Center. Come out and support your Beavers!