2017-18 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 84, Earlham 56
December 6, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team dominated Earlham College 84-56 in the first game for the Beavers since November 26. Earlham fell to 1-5 and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference, while Bluffton improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the HCAC.
The Quakers jumped on top with the first basket of the contest, but Bluffton would answer with nine consecutive points, capped off by a layup from sophomore floor general TJ MILLS (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne). Over the final 6:52 of the first quarter, Bluffton would outscore Earlham 14-4, highlighted by a BREANNA GRAHAM (Springsboro) three-pointer as time expired.
Leading 26-12 with 8:22 left in the half, the Beavers rattled off seven unanswered before Earlham rolled in a layup to end the spurt. Bluffton was able to extend its lead to 45-20 at the half as the visitors outscored Earlham 16-4 in points off turnovers.
Despite allowing the home team to score the first four points of the third quarter, a triple by Breanna Graham and an ABIGAIL O’DONNELL (Arcanum) jumper put the Beavers up 26. The teams would exchange baskets for most of the third quarter as Bluffton went into the final period with a comfortable 61-39 edge.
The Beavers made it 70-46 at the 6:02 mark after a lay-in by KAYCEE ROWE (Harrod/Allen East). The spread ballooned to 80-52 following a KYLIE BROCK (Vilas Hills, Ky./Dixie Heights) deuce off an assist from junior ERIKA MOTIEJUNAS (Mentor). With four ticks remaining, a steal and a layup by KAYLA HEUKER (BOTKINS) put the Beavers up 30 before a last-second layup by the Quakers made the final score 84-56.
Kaycee Rowe and Macey Sheerer paced the visitors with 15 points apiece. They pulled down nine and eight rebounds, respectively. Rowe also came up with a career-high tying six thefts, while Sheerer surpassed her career best with five steals. Abigail O'Donnell also netted double figures with 10 points and six rebounds. DJ Keesey (Cadiz/Harrison Central) established new career highs with seven points and five rebounds in 16 minutes of work off the bench. TJ Mills doled out five dimes for the victors.
Bluffton converted 30-of-63 (47.6 percent) from the field, including a red-hot 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) from distance. The Quakers managed just 22-of-63 (34.9 percent) on field goals with a paltry 1-of-8 on triple tries. Earlham pulled down four more boards (43-39), but the home team also coughed it up 11 more times (28-17). Bluffton took advantage of the Earlham miscues, turning them into 33 points with 14 of the fast break variety.
The Beavers will be back in Indiana on Saturday when they travel to Hanover College for a 2 p.m. clash with the Panthers.