2017-18 Women's Basketball
Transylvania 57, Bluffton 42
February 23, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University women’s basketball squad took to the road to compete in the HCAC Tournament semi-finals against Transylvania University at Rose-Hulman on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018. However, struggles from the field haunted the Beavers for most of the contest as a 57-42 loss ended the 2017-18 campaign.
The Pioneers buried the first basket of the night after a triple from RACHEL COX but TJ MILLS (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) answered with a trifecta of her own to tie the game at 3-3 just over 30 seconds into the ballgame. Bluffton took a 6-5 advantage when BREANNA GRAHAM (Springboro) connected on another shot from downtown. However, Transylvania would get a spark of offense to take a 13-6 lead before the Beavers were able to get back on the board with a layup by NORA HEMMINGER (McComb). The second quarter was not kind to Bluffton as they were held scoreless for all 10 minutes en route to a 24-8 deficit at the break.
The struggles from the floor lingered into the second half as the Beavers couldn’t score until MACEY SHEERER (Bucyrus) rolled in a layup at the 6:55 mark, making the score 28-10. The teams traded buckets for the next couple minutes, but the Pioneers opened a 22-point advantage following a three-point shot by SHELBY BOYLE. Bluffton answered with a triple by TJ Mills that made it 38-19 entering the final quarter.
The Beavers were unable to gain any traction on Transylvania as the two teams went back-and-forth until there was 2:50 left in regulation. Bluffton finally went on a 10-3 run to close out the contest. It was not enough as the Pioneers ended Bluffton's season with a 57-42 shutdown of the Beavers.
TJ Mills was the lone Beaver in double-digits as the sophomore guard scored 11 points that went along with a career-high seven rebounds and three assists. She knocked down a career-high three triples. Senior KAYCEE ROWE (Harrod/Allen East) would close out her career for the Beavers collecting eight points and snagging six boards. Macey Sheerer also ended her time at Bluffton with a six-point, eight-rebound outing while ABIGAIL O’DONNELL (Arcanum) added five counters in her final game.
It was a rough night for the Bluffton crew as they only managed to connect on 16-of-62 (25.8 percent) from the field, including 3-of-32 (9.4 percent) in the first half, while Transylvania went 22-of-52 (42.3 percent). The Pioneers could not miss from behind the arc, drilling 12 threes compared to the five for the Beavers. Transylvania won the battle of the boards (44-35), but the Beavers' tenacious defense forced 18 Pioneer turnovers while Bluffton committed just nine.
While the Beavers' run came to a close, it was a great season nonetheless as they finished with a record of 20-7 and 14-4 in conference play. This is the third straight 20+ win season for the women. Prior to the 2015-16 season, the Beavers had never won 20 games in a season. Kaycee Rowe and Macey Sheerer will end their careers as two of the most prominent players in program history. Sheerer is the all-time leader with 1,393 career points and her 760 rebounds are second in program history. Rowe is now third in career points with 1,178 points and she added 642 boards (sixth all-time).
The Heartland Conference post season awards will be handed out on Wednesday, Feb. 28. Check the Bluffton Athletics website and Twitter for announcements and updated records next week.