2012-13 Women's Basketball
Transylvania 76, Bluffton 67
Pioneers end Bluffton's season with 76-67 win in Beck Center
February 16, 2013
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University women's basketball season came to an end after a hard fought battle with regular season HCAC champion Transylvania University. The Beavers lost 76-67 and missed out on the conference tournament by one game. Bluffton ended the season 12-13 and 7-11 in HCAC. Transylvania stands 20-5 and 16-2 in HCAC heading into next weekend's tournament in Lexington.
Bluffton opened the game with 10 straight points for a 10-0 lead at the 15:19 mark. The visitors held a 17-7 advantage after a Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) jumper at the 11:51 mark. The momentum began to change after Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) picked up her third foul, and second in a span of 16 seconds, at the 10:25 mark. At the time, the Beavers led 17-11.
At the 4:55 mark, the Bluffton lead had been cut to 32-29, and less than two minutes later, Transylvania was up 34-32. The Pioneers took a 39-37 lead into the break. The story of the first half was the foul situation. The Beavers were called for 15 fouls, compared to just four whistles against Transylvania.
The second half was much of the same as the officials continued to be quick to use their whistles. The foul trouble for the Beavers began to mount as Transylvania pushed the lead to 50-42 with 12:18 left. Transy opened its largest spread of the game on a pair of free throws at 58-44 with 10:11 left.
The Bluffton women would not give up, however, as they continued to battle. Bluffton closed the mark to 68-58 with 3:42 left. Back-to-back threes by Ruffer and Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) trimmed the deficit to just 70-64 with 2:14 left. However, the Beavers could not make it all the way back as Transylvania held on for the 76-67 victory.
Freshman sensation Brooke Ruffer led the Beavers as she dropped in 18 points and grabbed six rebounds while playing just 26 minutes due to the foul trouble. Following right behind her was fellow freshman Kaitlyn Pennekamp who netted 16 points and went 6-of-6 at the free throw line. Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) added nine points and eight rebounds.
The deciding factor in the game was the fouls called as all the other stats were almost identical. Bluffton was whistled for 31 fouls to just 16 for Transylvania. Transylvania finished a blistering 33-of-39 (84.6 percent) from the free throw line, while Bluffton converted 15-for-18 (83.3 percent). Both teams pulled down 35 rebounds and Bluffton turned it over two more times (12-10).
The Beavers just missed out on a berth in the conference tournament as a win over Transy would have extended Bluffton's season thanks to Hanover's victory over Rose-Hulman. With the Bluffton loss, RHIT claims the sixth seed and will travel to Lexington, Ky., for a rematch with the Panthers next Friday night.