2012-13 Women's Basketball
Franklin 61, Bluffton 50
Franklin drops Bluffton 61-50 on Hall of Fame Day
January 26, 2013
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton women looked to answer Wednesday's loss at Earlham with a Saturday win on January 26 as they welcomed Franklin College to the Sommer Center, but the Grizzlies held off a late Bluffton comeback attempt to nail down a 61-50 victory on Hall of Fame Day.
Franklin jumped out to a 6-0 lead through the first three-and-a-half minutes before Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) put the Beavers on the board with a layup at the 16-minute mark. The sophomore wing then followed that up with two free throws which cut the Grizzly lead to two.
After a quick Franklin spurt made the score 13-5, Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) hit a three before converting a steal and layup to make the score 13-10. Franklin widened the spread again until Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hiltop) hit a jumper and Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) drilled a three on consecutive possessions, making the score 20-15 at the 9:26 mark.
After a Krista Schott free throw put the visitors up nine, Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) hit two free throws and Brenna Kurilec converted an old-fashioned three-point play on consecutive possessions that quickly cut the deficit to four, 24-20, with 5:31 left in the half. Another Kurilec basket and two free throws from Ruffer tied the score at 24 just two minutes later, but the Grizzlies closed the half on a 6-2 run for a 30-26 lead at the break.
The Grizzlies scored the first four points of the second half before Whitaker found the net for two at the 17:09 mark, but a 6-2 Franklin run put the visitors ahead 40-30 with 14:13 left to play. Franklin continued to pour it on, going up by as many as 16 at the 10:31 mark before the Beavers began their comeback attempt.
A Whitaker three at the 9:08 mark sparked a 10-0 Beaver run that consisted of eight points from her and a jumper by Pennekamp, pulling the home squad within six with 4:37 to play. However, poor shooting and a couple of costly turnovers by the Beavers helped the Grizzlies close out the game on an 11-6 run while securing their ninth conference victory of the season, 61-50.
Whitaker tied Franklin's Katie Dale with a game-high 17 points. Ruffer turned in her fifth double-double performance with 10 points, a career-high 15 rebounds and four assists. Kurilec added nine points and three boards, while Pennekamp finished with seven points. Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) and Rachel DeBord (Lebanon) chipped in with three and two points, respectively.
Bluffton hit just 27.1 percent from the field (16-of-59), including a 4-of-14 mark behind the arc, and 14-of-18 at the charity stripe. The Beavers forced more turnovers (15-13), but were outrebounded by one (37-36).
The Beavers (9-10, 4-8 HCAC) will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 30, when they welcome the Mount St. Joseph Lions to the Sommer Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.