2016-17 Women's Basketball
Transylvania 61, Bluffton 55
February 24, 2017
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The third time was a charm for a Transylvania University women's basketball team that came up on the short end of both regular season meetings with the Beavers. Transy dominated the second half, 42-27, en route to a berth in the Heartland Conference title game where the Pioneers will look to take down #1 seed and tourney host Rose-Hulman, a 57-41 victor over Franklin in the first semi on Friday night.
Trailing the Beavers 28-19 at the break, Rachel Cox knocked down a three ball to open the second half and when Rachel Beining (Ottoville) went to the bench less than a minute later with her third foul the Pioneers had the opening they needed. With Beining forced to sit the remainder of the quarter, Transy pulled within a point, 44-43 heading to the final stanza.
Bluffton netted just 11 points in the fourth, trailing by as many as eight before Kaycee Rowe's (Harrod/Allen East) putback at the buzzer made the final score 61-55 in favor of the Pioneers. Transy will meet Rose-Hulman at 5 p.m. on Saturday with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line.
Rowe led the Beavers with 18 points and she added eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. Beining notched the 24th double-double of her storied career with 10 points and 10 boards. She will leave Bluffton as the all-time leading rebounder (789) and #3 on the all-time scoring list with 1,156 points! Sheerer chipped in with 11 points and freshman TJ Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) added eight markers.
Bluffton hit just 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) from the field, including a paltry 10-for-31 (32.3 percent) the second half. The Beavers missed all eight of their three-point attempts, while Transy converted 4-of-22 (18.2 percent). The Pioneers pulled down four more boards (42-38), but they turned it over two more times (11-9). Bluffton converted 11-of-16 free throws (68.8 percent). The Transy bench proved to be the difference as the Pioneers outscored Bluffton by a convincing 24-2 margin.
The Bluffton women have much to be proud of as they finished with just their second 20-win season in school history. They will say goodbye to seniors Ashley Salyer (Marion/River Valley), Jess Boggan (Cincinnati/Princeton) and Rachel Beining after four years of domination in the post. The Heartland Conference will hand out its post-season hardware on Wednesday so check the Bluffton athletics website for updated records and All-HCAC announcements throughout the week.