2017-18 Women's Basketball
October 26, 2017
BLUFFTON, Ohio - After another excellent season on the hardwood, the Bluffton University women’s basketball team is aiming for a second HCAC championship in three years. The Beavers wrapped up the 2016-17 campaign with a record of 21-5, finishing second in the conference behind Rose-Hulman. Head Coach Chad Shutler led the Beavers to consecutive 20-win season for the first time in school history. Despite the graduation of 1st team All-HCAC post Rachel Beining, Bluffton will count on a pair of senior 1st team All-HCAC performers, Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) and Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus), to carry the team to a conference title and back into the NCAA tournament.
Macey Sheerer looks to build on the success she had as a junior when she averaged 14.5 points per game, 4th-best in the conference. As a two-time First Team All-Heartland Conference honoree, Sheerer finished 6th with 6.7 RPG and 9th with 1.5 steals per game while her 3.2 assists per game were 6th in the conference. Her 131 free throws were 3rd for a season. She is 3rd all-time with 357 career free throws, while her 80.8 percent at the line is 2nd to fellow senior Kaycee Rowe (81.8 percent). Sheerer has climbed to 8th with 561 career boards and her 184 assists are 16th all-time. With another campaign yet to play, Sheerer is already 9th all-time with 1,043 career tallies.
A Second Team All-HCAC honoree as a sophomore, Kaycee Rowe made it three Beavers to be named First Team All-Heartland Conference after posting a team-high 14.6 PPG, 3rd in the HCAC, and dishing out a team-best 3.5 APG, 3rd in the HCAC. The stat sheet stuffer also pulled down 5.7 RPG, 12th in the HCAC, and her 2.4 SPG were 2nd in the conference. Rowe is 19th on the all-time scoring list with 774 points. A nearly 90 percent junior year at the stripe has Rowe #1 on the career list at 81.8 percent. She ranks 13th all-time with 189 assists and her 130 steals are 13th for a career. Rowe’s 40 career blocks put her 9th on the all-time list.
Also returning is sensational sophomore signal-caller TJ Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) who earned a starting assignment for the season opener and never looked back following the graduation of four-year starter Taylor Knight. Mills made life miserable for the best playmakers in the HCAC and her 3.0 APG on the other end were 7th in the conference. She netted 7.4 PPG and came away with 1.3 SPG, 13th-best in the HCAC.
Bluffton will also be looking for significant contributions from senior forward Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum) and sophomores Breanna Graham (Springboro), LJ Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton), and Chelsea Moore (Delaware/Olentangy). Last season O’Donnell pulled down the fourth most rebounds on the team with 140. O’Donnell finished the year with 168 points for an average of 6.7 PPG. Graham was third in three-point field goals made and three-point percentage (.300).
Bluffton finished second in the conference in scoring average, putting up 68.7 points per game. The Beavers were also efficient shooting the ball with a 40.7 field goal percentage which ranked second in conference play. Bluffton led the HCAC in assists per game at 16.2 to go along with the fewest turnovers per game at only 13.8. The Beavers were also stingy defensively, allowing only 54.8 points per game with opponents shooting just 35.3 percent from the field during conference play.
Bluffton will open up its season on Friday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. when they face Ohio Northern at the North Park University Tip-Off Tournament. Heartland Conference action tips on Saturday, Dec. 2, with a home clash against pre-season favorite Transylvania University at the Sommer Center. Come out and support the Bluffton University Women’s Basketball team when they take the court this winter!