2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 74, Kalamazoo 57
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
November 20, 2013
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Bluffton University women's basketball team took advantage of a big second half run and a balanced scoring attack to post a 74-57 victory on the road at Kalamazoo College on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013. The win pushed the Beavers over the .500 mark to 2-1 on the early campaign, while the Hornets fell to 0-3.
The Beavers had four in double figures, led in scoring by sophomore Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) who, in her first action of the season following an outstanding run with the Beaver volleyball team, tallied 14 points and four rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Sophomore Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) chipped in 13 points with three triples. Freshman center Rachel Beining (Ottoville) shined once again with her first collegiate double-double, tallying 12 points and 10 boards. Sophomore Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) added 11 points in the Beaver victory.
Bluffton ended the contest with a decisive 46-32 advantage on the glass which played a key role in the victory. Bluffton also shot well from the floor, hitting 44 percent (29-of-66).
The game opened with a 6-0 run by the home team over the first two minutes. Beining ignited an 18-4 Bluffton spurt to give the Beavers an 18-10 lead midway through the first half.
The Hornets responded with a run of their own, however, as they scored 13 of the next 17 points to take a one-point lead with just under five minutes remaining in the half. After a Whitaker deep-ball and a Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) layin, Kalamazoo finished the period with back-to-back threes to close the half with a 32-27 lead.
The second half would be all Bluffton, however. After the home team opened the stanza with another deep ball to go up by eight points, Bluffton countered with a 9-0 run which was capped by a Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) putback that gave the Beavers a 36-35 lead with 14:44 left in the contest.
The Hornets continued to battle as they took the lead back and opened a five-point spread in the middle stages of the second half. A Pennekamp make from beyond the arc would spark another 9-0 Bluffton run to answer the bell.
Each team jabbed back and forth one last time before the Beavers took over late in the contest. After a couple of freebies from India Hoskins cut the visitor's lead to just four points at the 4:41 mark, Beining scored following a turnover and fellow freshman Gwen Downing (Kenton) tacked on four straight freebies to push the lead to double digits. Two more easy buckets by Ruffer and Downing capped the 10-0 jag that sealed the victory.
Bluffton junior Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) added nine markers and four rebounds in the victory, while Downing finished with seven points.
Bluffton will take the weekend off before wrapping up their four-game season-opening road swing with a trip to Wooster at 7:30 p.m on Tuesday, Nov. 26. The Beavers will open the home season on the following Saturday, Nov. 30, when they do battle with the Heidelberg University Student Princes. Game time for that contest is set for 3 p.m. in the Sommer Center. Come support your Beavers!