2012-13 Women's Basketball
Bluffton 69, Finlandia 44
Bluffton takes down Finlandia 69-44 in Flying Dutch Tournament
December 29, 2012
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
HOLLAND, Mich. - The Beavers participated in the consolation game of the Hope College Flying Dutch Holiday Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 29, taking on the Finlandia University Lions at DeVos Fieldhouse. The Bluffton women improved to 6-5 after defeating the Lions, 69-44.
The first seven points of the contest went to the Beavers after Mikayla Coburn (McGuffey/Upper Scioto Valley) opened the scoring with a layup that was quickly followed by a three from Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) and a jumper by Kaitlyn Pennekamp (Hamilton/Ross). After a three-pointer by Finlandia's Brierra Ruska, the Beavers added four more on jumpers from Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and Brooke Ruffer (Stryker), giving Bluffton an 11-3 lead at the 14:32 mark.
Another Lion triple from Melissa Burke sparked an 11-1 Finlandia run that gave the Lions a 14-12 lead with 11:32 remaining in the half. Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) responded with a jumper to tie the score at 14 before a Pennekamp steal and layup gave the Beavers the lead at the 9:13 mark.
With the score tied at 18, Ruffer found Coburn in the paint for two, starting a 13-5 Bluffton run that gave the Beavers a 31-23 lead at halftime.
Whitaker came out on fire in the second half, scoring Bluffton's first seven points on two jumpers and a trifecta that pushed the Bluffton lead to 13. A jumper by Finlandia's Paige Yoho at the 13:27 mark pulled the Lions back to within 11 points, but a Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) jumper marked the start of a 21-0 Bluffton jag that made the score 65-31 at the 5:59 mark of the final stanza.
With the game out of reach, the Lions were only able to get the Bluffton lead down to 23 points. Belicia Cooper (Painesville/Riverside) put a cap on the victory with a deuce to make the final score 69-44.
Whitaker finished with a game-high 16 points after shooting 6-of-10 from the field, including an impressive 4-of-6 performance outside the arc. The freshman also tallied three rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Kurilec and Coburn turned in impressive performances as well, both finishing the game with eight points. Coburn ripped down a team-high eight rebounds. Ruffer also collected eight boards to go along with her four points, four assists and three steals.
Other notable performers for the Beavers included Pennekamp (seven points, five rebounds), Burkholder (five points, three rebounds), and Hutton (five points, two rebounds).
Bluffton finished the game with a 37.5 field goal percentage (27-of-72), including a 50.0 percentage (5-for-10) from distance. The Beavers out-rebounded the Lions, 50-38, and committed 10 fewer turnovers (25-15).
The Beavers will be back on the road Wednesday, Jan. 2, for an HCAC battle with rival Defiance College. They return home on Wednesday, Jan. 9, to take on the Earlham College Quakers at the Sommer Center with a 7:30 p.m. tip off.