2015-16 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 45, Rose-Hulman 36
December 12, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team survived a bruising defensive battle, improving to 7-0 on the season with a 45-36 victory over the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday, Dec. 12. The Beavers also moved to 3-0 in HCAC play with the victory. The Engineers fell to 5-3 and 1-2 in conference action. The seven victories established a new school record for consecutive wins in a single season and it tied the Beavers for most consecutive victories overall. The 1978-79 team won four games to end the season before the 1979-80 squad won its first three for seven straight Bluffton women's wins.
RHIT started hot, scoring the game’s first five points, along with 12 of the first 17 for a 12-5 lead at the 2:36 mark. The Beavers were able to end the opening stanza with a bucket from Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum) to cut it to a five-point margin (13-8) after one quarter.
After Rachel Beining (Ottoville) and Ally Bromenschenkel exchanged hoops to open the second quarter, Bluffton scored 10 straight points, sparked by a Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) deuce, followed by four straight from Beining. The run was capped with layups from Macey Sheerer (Bucyrus) and Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross), giving the home squad a 20-15 lead. Each team combined for just two markers apiece to finish the half, making it 22-17 at the break.
After Beining led off the third with a score, the Engineers added four straight, cutting the deficit to three points. Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) would hit a jumper to get it to five, but RHIT cut it to two on a triple from Kristen Belyea at the 5:14 mark. However, Bluffton responded, rattling off seven straight points to end the third quarter with a 33-24 lead and just 10 minutes to play.
The Engineers battled back to within six, but a Beining hoop-and-harm and a deuce from Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) made it 40-29 at the 6:06 mark, Bluffton’s highest lead of the game. The Beavers would be able to cap off the 45-36 victory from there, keeping their record unblemished.
Both teams played excellent defensively, causing poor shooting percentages on each end. The Engineers finished the contest shooting just 23.6 percent (13-of-55) from the floor, while the Beavers were slightly higher with 38.6 percent (17-of-44) in the contest. The home team handled the boards, holding a 40-30 advantage. Each team committed 16 turnovers.
The Beavers were led with a 10th career double-double performance from Rachel Beining who scored 14 points on just 5-of-7 shooting while grabbing 12 boards. She also blocked three shots and dished two assists. Macey Sheerer finished with six points, but also ripped down 10 rebounds, while Kaitlyn Pennekamp and Abby Jerger each added six points off the bench. Rose-Hulman was led by Ally Bromenschenkel with seven points.
The Beavers are finished with HCAC action for the holiday break, but return to non-conference play with a tilt on Friday, Dec. 18 as they hit the road to take on the Wooster College Fighting Scots, who sit at 5-3 on the season. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m. Bluffton’s next home game will be Monday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament against OSU-Lima. Come support your Beavers!