2013-14 Women's Basketball
Transylvania 103, Bluffton 77
January 18, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team battled from start to finish, but the Beavers got a firsthand look at why Transylvania is unblemished in Heartland Conference action and has won its last 13 contests as the Pioneers wrapped up a 103-77 victory over the visitors on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Bluffton dipped to 8-7 on the season and 4-4 in the conference with its second straight loss, while Transy improved to 14-1 and a perfect 8-0 in the HCAC.
Four points from Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) helped Bluffton stay with Transylvania early on as the Beavers were within two (8-6) at the 17:26 mark. A 15-7 run for the home team put Transy up 23-13 following a Hannah Neeley triple five minutes later. Sophomore ball handler Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) answered with four straight counters, making it a six-point game with 11:32 on the clock.
Transylvania opened its largest lead of the half (39-22) with just under eight minutes to play in the opening stanza before Bluffton made a run prior to the break. Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) drained a triple and Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Cincinnati/Ross) added seven quick markers, pulling Bluffton within 12 points. Junior Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) put her name in the scorebook with a deuce and Whitaker got to the rack and then hit from deep less than 30 seconds later, making the score 50-43 with just over a minute to play. A Pioneer free throw sent Transy to the lockers with a 51-43 advantage.
Free throws by Brooke Ruffer and Taylor Whitaker followed by a Pennekamp bucket pulled the Beavers within five (54-49) less than a minute into period two. However, the Pioneer defense kicked in and limited Bluffton to four points over the next six minutes as Transy upped its margin to 13 points (66-53).
With the home team up by 17, Whitaker attempted to revive Bluffton with a hoop-and-harm followed by a true triple on an assist from Gwen Downing (Kenton). Her trifecta made the score 73-62, but that was as close as the Beavers would get as Transylvania continued its offensive assault. Following another hoop from Coburn, the home team scored the game's final seven points for a 103-77 victory.
Taylor Whitaker led the Beavers with a career-high 27 points on 9-of-20 from the field, including a red-hot 4-of-5 from distance. Fellow sophomores Brooke Ruffer and Kaitlyn Pennekamp also reached double figures with 14 points apiece. Ruffer just missed a double-double with nine rebounds. Rachel Beining (Ottoville) pulled down eight caroms and Taylor Knight handed out four dimes.
Bluffton hit just 26-of-72 (36.1 percent) from the field, compared to Transy's 33-of-69 (47.8 percent). Both squads shot it well at the line, each draining over 82 percent of its freebies. Bluffton went 19-of-23, while Transy finished a phenomenal 32-for-38 (84.2 percent). The Pioneers turned it over three more times (18-15), but they also pulled down a whopping 23 more boards (55-32).
The Beavers face another tough test this Wednesday, Jan. 22, when they travel to Manchester University. The Heartland Conference tussle is slated for 7:30 p.m. in North Manchester, Ind.