2012-13 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 55, Hiram 44
Beavers win first Bluffton Tip-Off Tournament in Sommer Center
November 17, 2012
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers won their own Bluffton Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 17, defeating Hiram College, 55-44, on Copeland Court in the Sommer Center. Sophomore Rachel DeBord (Lebanon) was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after turning in a 13-point, four-assist and three-rebound performance in the title game.
After a Terrier layup gave the visitors the first points of the game, Debord hit a jumper to tie the score at two. She followed that up with a three-pointer at the 15:55 mark to give the Beavers a 5-2 lead. Freshman Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) made her own three less than a minute later to push the lead to 8-2.
At the 9:22 mark, freshman Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross) stole the ball from Hiram's Kelsey Koskinen and took it coast-to-coast for a layup that extended the Beavers' lead to 16-5. Six minutes later, fellow freshman Alexis Williams (Cincinnati/Lockland) gave the Beavers their largest lead of the half, 14 points, after powering the ball into the hoop. A pair of Hiram triples in the last 1:37 of the period helped the Terriers trim the deficit to 28-18 at the break.
After Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) opened the second half with a free throw, Hiram went on a quick 8-0 run to make it a three-point game. Freshman Carolin Baker (Bethel-Tate) ended the spurt with a drive to the hoop and a layup which pushed the score to 31-26.
Bluffton quashed the Terrier rally, going up by as many as 17 after a Whitaker layup at the 8:06 mark. A late three-pointer by Hiram's Chelsea Kovach pulled the visitors within 11, but it was too little, too late for the Terriers as Bluffton captured its first-ever Tip-Off Championship in the fifth year of its existence and first in the Sommer Center.
In addition to DeBord's 13 points, Knight and Pennekamp each tallied 10 for the Beavers. Knight also represented the Beavers on the All-Tournament team.
Freshman Brooke Ruffer (Stryker) filled the stat sheet with seven points, eight rebounds and two assists, while Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) finished with two points and six rebounds. Sophomore Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) added two points and seven boards.
The Beavers shot 37.7 percent from the field to Hiram's 36.2 percent. However, one of the biggest factors in the game was the Bluffton rebounding as the hosts pulled down 40 boards to the Terriers' 28.
The Beavers will be back at home next Saturday, Nov. 24, when they host the Wooster Fighting Scots at the Sommer Center. The contest is slated to tip at 4 p.m.