2013-14 Women's Basketball
Rose-Hulman 60, Bluffton 57
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
January 4, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team went up by 13 points with less than four minutes to play in the opening stanza, but Rose-Hulman but the brakes on with an 8-0 spurt to end the half en route to a 60-57 victory over the visitors on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. The Beavers fell to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the Heartland Conference, while RHIT upped its mark to 4-7 on the season and 2-2 in the HCAC.
Although standout sophomore Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) was forced to watch the final 17 minutes of the first half after being saddled with two cheap foul calls, the Bluffton women used a 15-0 run to go up 29-16 with three minutes and change to play in the opening stanza. Point guard Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) powered the surge with seven straight points and a steal as the Beavers looked to put the game on ice.
However, Rose-Hulman made a game of it thanks to three straight Bluffton miscues as the home team closed the first 20 minutes with a quick 8-0 jag that turned momentum in favor of the Engineers. The Beavers missed their final four shot attempts of the period and saw Rose pull within five points (29-24) at the break.
Bluffton and Rose went toe-to-toe early in the second period with the Beavers maintaining a 3-to-7 point cushion until a hoop-and-harm by Sheree Williams knotted the score at 39 with 11:31 to play. RHIT tied it up again at 41 before a 10-3 spurt by the Beavers, including eight straight Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) counters, put the visitors on top by a 51-44 count at the 6:27 mark.
A 13-2 jag by Rose-Hulman, including 10 straight points, proved to be the difference in the game as the Engineers went up 57-53 with less than a minute on the clock. A pair of Knight freebies pulled Bluffton within two (59-57) with seven ticks remaining, but Pennekamp's triple attempt to tie the game at 60 was just off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
The Beavers were led in scoring by Taylor Knight who tallied 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting, was 7-for-9 from the free throw line and added three boards. Kaityln Pennekamp chipped in 13 points, while Taylor Whitaker scored 10 points off the bench for the visitors. Freshman center Rachel Beining (Ottoville) scored six points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds. Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) also finished the contest with a career-high six steals. Rose-Hulman received 10 points apiece from Abbie Marshall, Kelsey Ploof and Ava Paraleski.
Rose-Hulman won the battle on the glass, 41-28, but the Engineers also turned it over 10 more times (29-19) than the visitors. Bluffton picked up 17 steals in the loss. The Beavers struggled to a 33.3 percent afternoon from the field (18-of-54), including just 2-of-14 (14.3 percent) from distance. The visitors took advantage at the charity stripe, going 19-of-25 (76.0 percent).
The Beavers will return to the Sommer Center to take on the Mount St. Joseph Lions on Wednesday, Jan. 8, as the rest of the students return to campus. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Come support your Beavers!