2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 59, Franklin 54
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
December 7, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team bounced back quickly after their tough road loss at Earlham on Wednesday night, knocking off conference-foe Franklin by a score of 59-54. The Beavers took a five-point lead into the half before battling back and forth, holding on late for their first conference victory of the season. The home team improved to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference with Bluffton's third victory over Franklin in 35 meetings, snapping a 12-game losing streak at the hands of the Grizzlies in the process.
The game opened up with both teams trading blows before Bluffton went on an 8-0 run midway through the half. Three-pointers by sophomores KAITLYN PENNEKAMP (Hamilton/Ross) and TAYLOR WHITAKER (Mansfield/Lexington) stretched the Beaver lead to 11 with 5:37 to play in the period. Bluffton pushed the lead to 12 with 1:50 left in the half when Pennekamp hit a pair of free throws, but Franklin ended the first 20 minutes with a 7-0 spurt to cut the lead to five at 36-31.
A layup by freshman RACHEL BEINING (Ottoville) gave the Beavers a three-point advantage with 13:57 to play, but Franklin tied things back up just minutes later. Neither team led by more than four points the entire half until Pennekamp hit a layup with 34 seconds remaining to push the Bluffton lead to five, sealing the win.
Pennekamp led the Beavers in scoring with 20 points to go along with six rebounds. Beining had 11 points and eight rebounds, while junior BELICIA COOPER (Painesville/Riverside) just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. TAYLOR KNIGHT (Perrysburg) had a team-high four assists in the win for Bluffton. BROOKE RUFFER (Stryker) added six counters to go along with her nine rebounds and team-high three steals.
The Beavers dominated the boards, pulling down 43 rebounds, compared to just 29 for Franklin. Bluffton hit 21-of-56 from the field (37.5 percent) and 14-of-20 at the stripe (70 percent). The home team came up with 10 steals and took advantage with 18 points off turnovers.
Bluffton improved to 3-4 overall with a 1-1 mark in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while Franklin slipped to 2-6 (1-1 HCAC). The Beavers will not play again until after exams are completed, taking on Anderson next Saturday, Dec. 14 on the road. That contest is slated to begin at 2 p.m. in the O.C. Lewis Gymnasium on the campus of Anderson University.