2012-13 Women's Basketball
Franklin 58, Bluffton 54
Franklin holds off Bluffton 58-54 in HCAC opener
December 1, 2012
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team suffered its first loss of the season at Franklin College in a hard fought 58-54 setback. It was was the first conference game for both squads. Bluffton dropped to 4-1 overall and 0-1 in the HCAC, while Franklin improved to 5-1 on the season.
Franklin opened the game with a basket at the 19:29 mark to take the early lead. The teams battled and exchanged baskets until the 14:32 mark when the Beavers tied it at eight off a three from freshman Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington). After the teams traded baskets, Franklin went on an 8-0 run to take a 20-12 lead. Bluffton continued to fight, but Franklin took a 10-point lead into the break, 33-23.
The Beavers came out in the second half ready to change their plight. With 9:33 left the visitors closed the gap to three (46-43) on a layup by sophomore Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian). Whitaker hit a jumper with 7:08 left and the Franklin lead was down to one.
The Grizzlies still held a one-point advantage, 55-54, with 28 seconds left after a chip shot by freshman Brooke Ruffer (Stryker). The Beavers, however, could not get over the hump as Franklin was able to close out the game with three free throws down the stretch to clinch the 58-54 win.
The Bluffton offense was led by Ruffer who dropped in 16 and Whitaker with 15, going 3-of-7 from behind the arc. Sophomore Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) and junior Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) each grabbed seven rebounds.
The Beavers return to action Wednesday, Dec. 5, when they visit conference foe Mount St. Joseph. The game in Cincinnati is set to tip at 7:30 p.m.