2012-13 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 62, Defiance 47
Bluffton women take down Yellow Jackets 62-47 on Senior Night
February 13, 2013
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team was able to earn revenge against their arch-rivals on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Beavers were defeated 54-32 in Defiance in their first meeting against the Yellow Jackets back on January 2. However, Bluffton was able to turn the tables and defeat Defiance, 62-47, in a game they never trailed in the Sommer Center on Wednesday night. Bluffton also honored its lone senior, Lauren Hutton (New Riegel), on Senior Night prior to the contest. The win bumped the Beavers back to 12-12 and 7-10 in Heartland Conference play. The Yellow Jackets slipped to 14-10 overall and 11-6 in HCAC action.
With the home team up 9-7, the Beavers were able to go on a 12-4 spurt for a 10-point advantage. The run began with a deuce from Brooke Ruffer (Stryker), followed by a three-ball by Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) and a Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) freebie to give Bluffton a 15-7 lead at the 10:04 mark of the first half.
Whitaker knocked down a free throw, and followed that up with a deep ball to push the Beaver lead to 10 points (21-11) at the 2:45 mark of the first half. The Yellow Jackets trimmed the deficit to six, before back-to-back triples from Ruffer and Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) made it a 12-point game. Kim Bingley's jumper left Bluffton up 29-19 at the break.
Defiance cut the lead down as low as six points at the 15:25 mark of the second half, but the Beavers used an 8-0 run, sparked by a huge three from freshman Carolin Baker (Bethel-Tate) off the bench. Back-to-back deuces from Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hiltop), a free throw from Rachel DeBord (Lebanon), and a Pennekamp trifecta pushed the Bluffton lead to 17 points with 11:18 remaining.
Defiance answered with eight straight points, however, Bluffton continued to pour gas on the fire as they went on a 15-4 jag to close out the Yellow Jackets. The home team converted on seven consecutive free throws during the spurt to help seal the win.
The Beavers were led by freshman phenom Brooke Ruffer who scored 17 points and added six boards. Freshman Taylor Knight was also in double figures, scoring 11 points and delivering four assists while setting the tone early on with a pair of drives into the lane. Taylor Whitaker chipped in seven counters, while Kaitlyn Pennekamp and Kylee Burkholder each added six off the bench. Senior Lauren Hutton finished her career in the Sommer Center scoring four markers and she led the team with nine rebounds. Defiance was paced by Hannah Harshman who scored 14 for the Yellow Jackets in a losing effort.
The victors were able to take advantage of a poor shooting night for the Yellow Jackets. Defiance hit only 26.2 percent (16-of-61) from the floor, including 15 percent (3-of-20) outside the arc. Bluffton finished at 36.7 percent (22-of-60) and 40 percent (6-of-15) from beyond the arc. Defiance pulled down one more rebound (46-45) and both teams took care of the rock as they combined for just 21 turnovers (11 for Bluffton)
Bluffton will finish up the regular season on Saturday, Feb. 16, when the Beavers head to Lexington, Ky., to take on the Transylvania Pioneers in the first game of a doubleheader with the men. The women's contest is slated to start at 2 p.m. in the Beck Center. The Beavers need a win and some help from Manchester to secure a berth in the upcoming HCAC tournament.