2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 71, Defiance 55
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
January 29, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team exacted revenge on Wednesday, Jan. 29, as they defeated their arch-rival Defiance Yellow Jackets, 71-55, in front of a packed house inside the Sommer Center. The win was sweet after the Yellow Jackets were victorious on their home floor just two short weeks ago. The win pushed the Beavers to 11-7 overall and 7-4 in HCAC play, keeping them in fourth place in the standings. Defiance dropped to 7-11 and 4-7 in Heartland Conference action.
After being tied at 13 apiece midway through the first half, the home team went on a 7-0 tear to earn the 20-13 advantage. Following a freebie by freshman standout Rachel Beining (Ottoville), Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) converted the hoop-and-harm which pushed the lead to four. After another free throw by Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross), Whitaker sliced through the key for a deuce to finish the run. The lead ballooned to eight before the Yellow Jackets answered with an 11-0 run of their own while all five Bluffton starters were saddled with two fouls. Defiance took advantage of the foul situation, going into the break with a 31-28 lead.
Both teams came out trading buckets and while the lead only changed hands twice, neither squad led by more than three points in the first 10 minutes of the second half. However, with 10:02 remaining in the game, a tip-in from Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) sparked an 18-2 Beaver run that buried the Yellow Jackets and gave the Beavers a 14-point advantage while putting a proverbial nail in the coffin.
The Beavers had three in double figures, led by Brooke Ruffer who scored 17 points and added six boards and three steals. Kaitlyn Pennekamp chipped in 15 points , seven rebounds and four assists, while Taylor Whitaker scored 14 points off the bench. Rachel Beining tallied nine points but added a huge 10 rebounds, including four offensive, while forcing Defiance freshman sensation Kelsey Tietje into a 5-of-16 shooting performance.
Bluffton held a key advantage in the rebounding category, outboarding the Yellow Jackets 42-35 in the victory. The Beavers shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57) while Defiance struggled to 32.8 percent (19-of-58) from the floor.
Following the game, all four teams gathered at center court to take a photo commemorating Purple-Out the Sommer Center in support of Akron assistant Dan Peters' battle with pancreatic cancer.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Feb 1, as they make the long trip to Indiana to take on the Hanover Panthers. Game time is set for 2 p.m. They will also return home next Wednesday, Feb 5, when they welcome the Manchester University Spartans to the Sommer Center. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m. Come support your Beavers!