2013-14 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 77, OSU-Lima 54
By: Adriane Bruner, sports information assistant
December 28, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - A pair of standout performance by sophomores Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) and Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) powered Bluffton past Ohio State-Lima on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. Pennekamp hit 5-of-10 from long range for 21 points, while Ruffer put up her ninth career double-double with 16 points and 10 boards. The Beavers moved into the McDonald's of Bluffton and Monsanto Holiday Tournament championship game thanks to a 77-54 win over the Barons. Bluffton improved to 5-4 overall, while OSU-Lima slipped to 3-6 on the season.
The Beavers got into the scoring column quickly with a BELICIA COOPER (Painesville/Riverside) layup from Ruffer who controlled the opening tip. Pennekamp drained a triple and followed with a layup of her own to give the home team a 7-0 lead within the first 90 seconds of game play. To counter the run by the Beavers, OSU-Lima's KATIE STAHL hit a three-point shot to put the visitors on the board. The Beavers then came back with another jumper from Cooper and a layin by Ruffer.
The Barons continued to tack on a few points, but not enough to keep up with the Beavers. With 10 minutes left in the first half, Pennekamp started another outstanding run for the Beavers with her third three-point shot of the night. Her trifecta was followed by consecutive layups, free throws and jumpers, led by RACHEL BEINING (Ottoville) with six counters during Bluffton's 15-0 spurt that made the score 34-13 with just over four minutes left in the half. The home squad wrapped up the first stanza with a commanding 39-18 advantage.
The Barons came out in the second half with a three-point shot by DIONNA HURLEY, but were shortly countered with a layup and jumper from Pennekamp and Ruffer who started the second period with three quick steals. The Beavers and OSU-Lima battled back and forth, but the Barons were able to trim the gap to just 12 points (61-49) with just under four minutes to play.
The Beavers looked to quell the rally and they did just that as freshman ANNA HAIRSTON (Mansfield/Ontario) buried two crucial shots from distance. Bluffton capped off night one of its holiday tournament with a convincing 77-54 win over the Barons.
The Beavers were led in scoring by Pennekamp with 21 points on 8-of-14 from the field, including a blistering 5-of-10 from behind the three-point line. Her five triples established a new career high, while the 21 points matched her career best. Also getting it done for the Beavers was Ruffer with a double-double that included 16 points and 10 rebounds. She came up with a career-high five thefts and doled out four assists. Cooper chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman Jessica Boggan (Cincinnati/Princeton) came off the bench and pulled down a career-best six boards in just nine minutes of action. Leading the Barons in scoring was Hurley with 22, going 8-of-15 from the field. Stahl added 14 markers and Danielle Bihn finished with 12 points.
Bluffton went 30-of-81 (37.0 percent) from the field, while OSU-Lima hit 22-of-50 (44.0 percent). The Beavers capitalized from the line as they were 9-of-10 (90.0 percent) from the charity stripe while the Barons struggled, going 8-of-19 (42.1 percent). The Beavers proved more proficient from the three-point line, hitting 8-of-27 (29.6 percent), with Pennekamp drilling 5-of-10. The Barons made just 2-of-14 (14.3 percent). The visitors also turned it over 12 more times (28-16) and pulled down 12 fewer rebounds (49-37).
The Bluffton University women earned the right to play in the McDonald's of Bluffton and Monsanto Holiday Tournament finals on Sunday, Dec. 29, at 6 p.m. Trine outlasted Brescia (76-63) in game one on Saturday evening, setting up a showdown with The Thunder who are led by Alivia Recker, sister of Bluffton men's standout post Thayne Recker (Arlington).