2014-15 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 54, Manchester 53
January 21, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers pulled it out at the buzzer as freshman Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) took the inbound pass with 4.8 seconds to go, drove to the hole and put up a last-second layup attempt. After it bounced around the rim for what seemed to be an eternity, the ball fell through and the Sommer Center erupted! Bluffton rallied from eight points down late in the second half to beat the Manchester University Spartans, 54-53, in a grind-it-out contest that suited the visitors just fine until the Sheerer shot found the net. The Beavers improved to 11-5 overall with a 6-3 record in the HCAC, while the Spartans slipped to 8-8 with a 5-4 mark in the HCAC.
The battle started at a snail's pace, taking all the way to the 7:42 mark in the first half for both team to reach the double-digit mark with the Spartans on top 11-10. The first half continued to crawl as neither team was able to find the mark with any regularity. The one sign of life the Beavers had came off the bench in Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) as she was able to rack up nine rebounds in the first half alone. The period ended with Bluffton clinging to a 23-22 lead after 20 minutes of action.
The second half gave both teams new life as the speed and intensity dramatically picked up. Manchester went on a 13-2 run to open the stanza and put the Beavers in a position where they needed to fight their way back on top. The free throw line was critical down the stretch for both teams but the home team took advantage, going 16-of-19 from the stripe while the Spartans finished 10-for-20, including two misses with less than six ticks remaining.
The Beavers struggled offensively most of the night, but made their shots when they needed too. Rachel Beining (Ottoville) was 4-of-13 shooting for 10 points but pulled down seven boards and was big with three blocks. Macey Sheerer hit 5-of-9 from the floor and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe while adding four rebounds. Off the bench Kaycee Rowe had a monster effort with six points and a career-high 11 rebounds to go along with two assists and a steal.
The Beavers travel to Anderson University for a 2 p.m. meeting with the Ravens on Saturday, Jan. 24. Bluffton returns to the Sommer Center on Saturday, Jan. 31, when the Beavers host Hanover College.