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Women's basketball looks to re-load in 2018-19

Women's basketball looks to re-load in 2018-19

BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University women's basketball team is ready to re-load after the graduation of Macey Sheerer, Kaycee Rowe and Abigail O'Donnell, a 2017-18 class that went 84-24 for the best winning percentage (77.8 percent) in school history. Coach Shutler directed the Beavers to at least 20 wins for the third consecutive season as Bluffton advanced to the Heartland Conference semi-finals for the fourth straight year. Sheerer and Rowe combined for five First Team All-Heartland Conference honors as well as the first All-Region honoree (Rowe) in Bluffton women's basketball history!

A pair of junior guards are ready lead Bluffton's return to the top of the Heartland Conference in 2018-19. Two-year starter Tj Mills (Dayton/Chaminade-Julienne) dropped in double figures (10.8 PPG) and led the Beavers with 3.6 assists per game as a sophomore. Mills is a ferocious defender who locks down the opposition's playmaker every night as evidenced by her team-best 66 steals last year. Breanna Graham (Springboro) nearly doubled her scoring production as a sophomore, knocking down a team-high 34 triples while doling out 57 assists.

Juniors Dj Keesey (Cadiz/Harrison Central), Lj Olverson (Cincinnati/Princeton) and Chelsea Moore (Delaware/Olentangy) give Bluffton depth inside. Olverson and Moore have battled injuries the past two seasons but they are ready to play larger roles with three of Bluffton top five leading scorers in school history graduating the past two years. Senior Erika Motiejunas (Mentor) returns for her final season, while sophomore guards Nora Hemminger (McComb) and Heidi Craddock (Lima/Bath) saw action off the bench for Bluffton in 2017-18.

Bluffton was third in the conference in both scoring (68.0 PPG) and defense (58.5). The Beavers forced their opponents into an HCAC-best 19.6 turnovers per game. Taking care of the ball will again be a strength for a Bluffton squad that coughed it up just 12.9 times per game, far and away the best ratio in the conference.

The Beavers kick off the season with a Monday night trip to Alma College on November 12. Following four games on the road, Bluffton returns to the Sommer Center on Wednesday, Nov. 28, when John Carroll comes to town. A trip to Transylvania on Saturday, Dec. 1, tips off the Heartland Conference slate and the Beavers welcome a talented field for the 6th annual McDonald's Holiday Tournament on December 28-29. Come out and support the Bluffton University women when they hit the hardwood this winter!