2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 110, OSU-Lima 63
December 28, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team was stuck in a battle with an undermanned Ohio State University-Lima team for a half, but the Beavers pulled away for a 110-63 victory following a 38-8 third quarter that proved to be the difference. The win keeps the Beavers perfect at 9-0 on the season, extending their school record for consecutive wins to start a season, while the Barons dropped to 3-8. The 110 points smashed the school record of 103 set by the 2011-12 squad, also against the OSU-Lima Barons.
The Beavers will face Spring Arbor in the championship game of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament on Tuesday at 5 p.m. The Cougars improved to 8-6 on the year with an 81-56 victory over Geneva. OSU-Lima and Geneva will meet in the consolation game at noon on Tuesday.
Cassie Best opened the contest with a triple for the Barons before eight straight points from the Beavers gave Bluffton an 8-3 lead at the 6:53 mark. Bluffton extended the lead to 13-6 before a hoop-and-harm from Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum) and two straight Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) deuces gave the Beavers a 23-6 advantage. Five consecutive OSU-Lima points made the score 23-11 after one quarter.
The visitors tallied the first five points of the second quarter to get it within eight points at 23-15 at the 9:12 mark. Bluffton rallied right back, adding 12 straight markers, starting with a bucket from Rachel Beining (Ottoville) followed by two Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) triples and a layin from Taylor Knight (Perrysburg). The Barons pulled within nine points late in the quarter, and trailed just 52-41 heading to the locker room.
The Beavers dominated the third quarter, and held a 66-47 lead at the 6:33 mark. From there, a layup by Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) sparked a 20-0 spurt for the home team, a run that included four straight points from Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East), and five straight from Ashley Salyer (Marion/River Valley). The Beavers ended the quarter with a 90-49 advantage thanks to a 38-8 margin during the 10-minute period.
The fourth quarter was more of the same as the Beavers started with back-to-back buckets from freshmen Torri Futch (Sterling Heights, Mich.) and Erika MotIejunas (Mentor) to take a 94-49 lead. The Bluffton lead extended to as many as 49 points in the quarter following a jumper from Jessica Boggan (Cincinnati/Princeton) en route to the 110-63 victory.
The Beavers were red hot from the field, shooting 62.5 percent (50-of-80) on the contest, including almost 70 percent (27-of-39) in the second half. OSU-Lima shot a ridiculous 8-of-14 from beyond the arc (57.1 percent) in the first half, but finished just 8-of-24 (33.3 percent) from deep and 22-of-69 (31.9 percent) from the field. The Beavers out-rebounded the Barons, 48-35, while committing six less turnovers (16-10). The home team shared the sugar with 38 assists on 50 baskets in the win.
Bluffton finished with five in double figures, led by Taylor Whitaker, who scored 15 points on a career-best 5-of-10 from deep. Kaitlyn Pennekamp tallied 13 off the bench while adding five assists. Rachel Beining finished with another great performance, scoring 13 on 6-of-8 from the floor, while adding eight boards and a career-high five dimes for the Beavers. Senior Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) added 11 points, while freshman Torri Futch chipped in with a career-high 10 markers and five boards on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Taylor Knight added a career-high tying 10 assists to go along with her four points. Ashley Salyer and Abigail O'Donnell both posted career highs in points with nine and eight, respectively. O'Donnell also ripped down a career-high five boards.
OSU-Lima had four in double figures, led by Erin Basinger with 17 points and 11 boards, while Jill Rosselit added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, Dec. 29 as they wrap up the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament with the championship contest against Spring Arbor University at 5 p.m.