2017-18 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 85, MSJ 78 (OT)
January 3, 2018
By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team was back on its home court for the fourth time in six days against Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, Jan. 3. With the lead changing hands nine times, the Beavers were able to pull off an 85-78 overtime win over the Lions. Bluffton improved to 9-3 (4-1 HCAC) while MSJ dropped to 7-5 (3-2 HCAC).
After controlling the tip, the Lions took a 3-0 lead thanks to a three-point shot by Hayley Hudson. The Lions continued to control the action as they took a 22-13 lead to finish up the first quarter.
After going on a 6-0 run early in the quarter, the Beavers trimmed their deficit to five midway through the stanza. Two free throws by Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) with 18 ticks on the clock tied the game at 35 going into the half.
The Lions came out firing in the third quarter, going up 49-41 midway through the period before a layup by Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) followed by a jumper from LJ Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton) cut the lead to just one point at the three-minute mark. Two free throws from Nora Hemminger (McComb) put Bluffton up 54-53 heading into the final quarter.
MSJ led by as many as six with 5:14 to play but Bluffton would not go away. An Abigail O'Donnell (Arcanum) trifecta and a Kaycee Rowe deuce made it 66-65 with 3:07 to play. O'Donnell pulled the home team within three (74-71) with 46 seconds left and the Bluffton defense then forced a shot clock violation setting the stage for a storybook finish. Macey Sheerer took the inbound pass and willed her way to an off-balance triple that knotted the game at 74-74 with just three seconds remaining! The Lions were unable to get a good look, sending the game to overtime.
The Beavers took the overtime tip and never looked back, going on a 6-0 run that was capped by a technical foul on the Lions. Sophomore T.J. Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) was the highlight of the free period as she put up seven of Bluffton's 11 points to secure the stunning HCAC victory, giving her a career-high 19 points!
The home team was led offensively by Kaycee Rowe with her 10th career double-double at 27 points and a career-high tying 15 rebounds. This game pushes Rowe's total rebounds past the 500 career mark to 510 (12th all-time). Also playing a huge role in the victory was Macey Sheerer with 22 total points. Sheerer set a new school record for career points as she passed Tanya Rickenberg (1,241) to put herself in the #1 spot, sitting at 1,256 points.
Bluffton hit 28-of-66 (42.4 percent) from the field, but just 3-of-15 (20 percent) from distance. The Beavers were sensational at the line, hitting 26-of-29 (89.7 percent), while MSJ was also efficient at 15-of-17 (88.2 percent). Bluffton pulled down 14 more boards (43-29), including a 16-7 edge on the offensive glass that led to 18 second chance points. The home team fashioned a 12-0 edge in fast break counters while finishing with 24 points off turnovers to 15 for the Lions.
The Beavers are back on their home court again this Saturday, Jan. 6, when they host Anderson in another HCAC matchup at 2 p.m. They'll wrap up their six-game homestand with a purple-out on Wednesday, Jan. 10, when rival Defiance College comes to town for a 6 p.m. tip. Go Beavers!