2017-18 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 98, Franklin 82
February 17, 2018
By: Takayla Gadberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball squad honored their three 2018 seniors on Saturday, Feb. 17, as they faced off against the Grizzlies of Franklin College. The Beavers lit up the scoreboard in a 98-82 win over Franklin, finishing the regular season at 19-6 overall (14-4 HCAC). The Grizzlies fell to 7-17 on the season (6-12 HCAC).
Franklin went to the hole and scored the first bucket of the game, but Bluffton answered quickly with a layup by TJ MILLS (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne). Back-to-back triples by BREANNA GRAHAM (Springboro) and senior MACEY SHEERER (Bucyrus) gave the Beavers a 10-4 lead less than three minutes into the contest. A stingy Bluffton defense, highlighted by two blocks and four steals, led the home team to a 26-12 advantage after the first quarter of play.
Senior KAYCEE ROWE (Harrod/Allen East) led the Beavers on a 6-0 run with three consecutive hoops in period two. Freshman HEIDI CRADDOCK (Lima/Bath) followed with a pair of triples which gave the Beavers a 46-31 lead at the break.
TJ Mills and senior ABIGAIL O’DONNELL (Arcanum) set the pace for the home team coming out of the half as they combined for three deuces in the paint to put the Beavers up 52-36. NORA HEMMINGER (McComb) added four ticks to the board after a tip-in and two freebies. A 9-2 run for the home team gave them a 19-point spread with just over a minute left in the quarter. A shot from the charity stripe by O’Donnell sent the Beavers into the final stanza with a 72-58 advantage.
Kaycee Rowe stepped to the free throw line and drained two shots to start off the fourth quarter. Another shot from deep by Graham would give Bluffton an 84-67 lead. With 1:15 to play, the three Bluffton seniors left the court before LJ OLVERSON (Cincinnati/Princeton) finished a tip-in to cap Bluffton's highest output of the year with a 98-82 victory.
Leading the Beavers offensively was Kaycee Rowe with 26 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Four other Beavers were in double digits with Nora Hemminger putting up a career-high 14 points, TJ Mills and Breanna Graham both chipping in 13 points and five assists, and Macey Sheerer adding 10 points in the victory. Mills pulled down a career-high six rebounds and Heidi Craddock netted career bests with nine points and three triples!
Bluffton won the shooting battle, going 35-of-70 (50 percent) from the field, 9-for-19 (47.4 percent) from deep and 19-of-21 (90.5 percent) at the charity stripe. The Grizzlies connected on 29-of-66 (43.9 percent) from the field, 10-for-25 (40 percent) from beyond the arc and 14-of-17 (82.4 percent) at the line. The Beavers also pulled down nine more boards (41-32) and turned it over three fewer times (13-10). The home team dominated the paint to the tune of a 52-26 advantage.
The Bluffton women are back in the Sommer Center one last time this season as they kick off the HCAC tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Tip-off with the #6-seed Mount St. Joseph Lions is slated for 7:30 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers as they start their drive for a second HCAC Tournament title in three seasons!