2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 82, Spring Arbor 65
December 29, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team continued their impressive start to the season with an 82-65 win over Spring Arbor to improve to 10-0 and win the 2015 McDonald’s of Bluffton Holiday Tournament title! Bluffton continues to tack on to the record for consecutive victories in school history, winning its 10th in a row. It marked the second time in three years that the Beavers have won the McDonald's of Bluffton championship. Spring Arbor fell to 8-7 on the year. The consolation contest was won by Geneva College which downed OSU-Lima by a score of 71-61 earlier in the afternoon.
It was 4-4 early when the Beavers busted out for nine straight markers, starting with two driving buckets from Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) sandwiched around a Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) deuce. Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) followed with a triple to put the Beavers up, 13-4. The Cougars pulled within six before a tip-in by Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) at the buzzer made it 22-13 after one quarter of play.
It was 27-19 early in the second stanza before the Beavers would go on another 9-0 spurt, starting with a bucket from Sheerer and followed by four straight points by Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) and another Whitaker three which made it a 36-19 game at the 4:12 mark. The Cougars fought back with nine straight markers of their own before two Whitaker freebies made it 38-28 heading to the locker room.
After Spring Arbor struck first to open the third, Rowe tallied four straight and a layup from Jessica Boggan (Cincinnati/Princeton) made it a 6-0 spurt to get Bluffton back up, 44-30, just three minutes into the period. The visitors continued battling back to get it to within eight with 3:32 remaining in the quarter, but the Beavers rattled off eight of the next 10 for a 15-point spread. Townsley netted four consecutive points to end the third with the score 60-49 in favor of the home team.
The teams exchanged buckets for the first five minutes of the final quarter. After Spring Arbor cut the lead to nine points (70-61) with four minutes to play, Bluffton responded with 12 of the last 16 points in the contest, including three from Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) to open the run, followed by seven straight from Rachel Beining (Ottoville) which salted the game away for the Beavers while keeping their perfect mark intact at 10-0!
The Beavers grabbed eight more boards (46-38) than the Cougars and turned the ball over three fewer times (14-11). Bluffton shot 43.5 percent (27-of-62) from the floor, including 51.6 percent (16-of-31) in the second half, while Spring Arbor finished 38.2 percent (26-of-68) on the night. The Beavers also took advantage from the charity stripe, getting to the line 37 times and shooting 67.6 percent (25-of-37).
Bluffton finished with all five starters in double figures, led by Macey Sheerer’s 15 points, six boards and two dimes. Rowe chipped in with 14 markers, eight boards, four assists, and four swipes, while Rachel Beining grabbed her 12th career double-double, scoring 12 points and ripping down a game-high 13 boards. Taylor Whitaker also added 12 points and tied a career high with five assists. Taylor Knight chipped in 11 points for Bluffton.
Spring Arbor finished with two in double figures, led by Kylie TownsLEY with her 21 points and seven boards. Faith Johnson scored 16 for the Cougars in the loss.
Bluffton junior Rachel Beining was named the McDonald’s of Bluffton Holiday Tournament MVP after finishing the tourney with 25 points and 21 rebounds over the course of two nights. Taylor Whitaker was named to the All-Tournament team as well, scoring 27 with 10 dimes in the two victories. Joining them on the team were Kylie Townsley and Rachel Driesenga from Spring Arbor, as well as Callie Ford from Geneva College and Cassie Best from OSU-Lima.
The Beavers will dive back into HCAC play on Saturday, Jan. 2, as they head to Franklin College to start a three-game road trip with a battle of conference unbeatens. The Beavers and Grizzlies are set to tip at 2 p.m. The women return home on Wednesday, Jan. 13, for a matchup with the Manchester University Spartans.