2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 67, John Carroll 63
November 20, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BUFFALO, NY - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team opened the 2015-16 season by playing at Buffalo State and escaped with a 67-63 victory over John Carroll University on Friday, Nov. 20. The Beavers advanced to the championship game and will take on host Buffalo State, which easily defeated Thiel on Friday, 79-54. Bluffton moved to 1-0 on the season while John Carroll drops to 1-1 following the loss. The Blue Streaks are coming off a 22-5 campaign in which JCU advanced to NCAA Regional Tournament.
With the game squared at 4-4 early, the Beavers scored nine of the next 11 points, including seven from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) to take a seven-point advantage midway through the opening quarter. John Carroll responded quickly, finishing the period on a 14-4 run to take a 20-17 lead after the first 10 minutes of play.
The second stanza stayed even with John Carroll maintaining its lead, but the Blue Streaks never opened the advantage beyond four. Late in the second, a triple from sophomore Kaycee Rowe (Harrod/Allen East) gave Bluffton its first lead of the quarter at the 1:56 mark. However, JCU answered and led by a point heading to the lockerroom.
The third quarter was owned by the Beavers as Bluffton took the lead on a layup from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) with 7:12 left on the clock. The Blue Streaks knotted the game at 41 at the 4:08 mark, but the Beavers ended the quarter on a 10-1 run to take a nine-point lead before John Carroll hit two free throws to make it a 51-44 score after three.
Two buckets by Rowe and one from Whitaker gave the Beavers a 57-44 lead with 7:31 left and Bluffton looked to be in cruise control. But starting with 5:32 left, the Blue Streaks scored nine consecutive points to make it a one-point game with 3:33 to go. Rachel Beining (Ottoville) stopped the run with a deuce, but JCU responded. After Beining split a pair of freebies, John Carroll briefly tied the game with 32 ticks on the clock. The Beavers responded quickly when Sheerer hit a key jumper with 21 seconds to go and Whitaker iced it with free throws to give Bluffton the 67-63 victory.
The stat sheet looked as even as the score was most of the way. Bluffton shot 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the floor, but just 16.7 percent (2-of-12) from deep. The Beavers even struggled from the charity stripe, as they shot 56.5 percent (13-of-23). The Streaks finished 33.9 percent (20-of-59) from the floor and 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from beyond the arc. Bluffton was outrebounded by John Carroll, 39-36, and both teams committed 21 turnovers in the contest.
The Beavers were led by Taylor Whitaker who scored 18 points on 7-of -12 shooting. Kaycee Rowe also started her first full season in purple with a bang, scoring a career-high 14 points and adding 10 rebounds. It was also Rowe’s first career double-double. Macey Sheerer finished the contest with 12 points and three boards. Senior point guard Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) added seven points and a team-leading four dimes, while Kailtyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) chipped in with seven points as well.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Nov. 21, as they take on the host Buffalo State Tigers in the championship of the Betty Abgott Invitational. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Bluffton opens up in the Sommer Center on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 6 p.m. against the Heidelberg University Student Princes. Come support your Beavers in their home opener!