2012-13 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 72, Earlham 64
Four Beavers hit for double digits in 72-64 win over Earlham
January 9, 2013
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers snapped a three-game conference losing skid after defeating Earlham College, 72-64, at home on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The win moved the Beavers to 7-7 overall and 2-5 in the Heartland Conference. Earlham fell to 2-12 and 1-6 in the HCAC.
Bluffton stormed out to a 9-2 lead after layups from Rachel DeBord (Lebanon), Taylor Knight (Perrysburg), and Brooke Ruffer (Stryker), along with a Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) long ball. After a quick Earlham run made the score 9-7, freshman Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) controlled an offensive rebound and put it up for two while increasing the spread to four.
A chip shot by JaLissa Watt made the score 11-9 before a DeBord layin sparked a 13-4 Bluffton spurt that extended the lead to 24-13 at the 9:33 mark in the half. Earlham trimmed the deficit to nine with seven minutes to play, but back-to-back deuces from Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and two layups each from DeBord and Ruffer kept the Quakers from getting any closer as the halftime buzzer sounded with the Beavers up 42-33.
Kurilec opened the scoring in the second half with her 13th and 14th points of the game on a fastbreak after a DeBord steal and assist. The sophomore converted again after Ruffer found her to make the score 46-33. Earlham narrowed the deficit to 11 at the 14:25 mark, but Whitaker put the Beavers up 14 with her second trifecta of the game.
Bluffton maintained the double-digit lead until Emily Sells hit a jumper that made the score 56-48 with 10 minutes to play. The Quake pulled within six when Kasin Spay hit a three at the 5:17 mark to make the score 64-58, but that was as close as the visitors would get as the Beavers held them off until the final horn sounded with the score 72-64.
Kurilec finished the game with a career night, including career highs of 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Ruffer finished with her fourth double-double after tallying 13 points, 12 boards, six assists and three steals. Whitaker and DeBord both added double-figure performances as well with 12 points apiece.
Also in the scoring column for the Beavers were Knight with seven, Pennekamp with five, Abby Jerger (Middletown/Madison) with two and Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) with one counter.
Bluffton shot a blistering 51.6 percent from the field (32-of-62), including 4-of-8 (50 percdent) from behind the arc and 4-of-7 at the free-throw line. They out-rebounded Earlham (36-33) but committed one more turnover (17-16) than the visitors.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, at home when they host HCAC opponent Anderson. The women's game is slated to tip at 2 p.m. in the Sommer Center.