2001-02 Men's Basketball
bc 64, ec 62
Bluffton holds on for 64-62 win over EarlhamNovember 24, 2001
A 15-point Bluffton College lead early in the second half gradually dwindled to a 62-62 tie with 16 seconds left in the game, but junior Mike Leimeister's offensive rebound and layup with :03 left on the clock gave the Beavers a 64-62 win over Earlham College Saturday afternoon in Founders Hall.
Earlham attempted 35 three-pointers in the game and connected on seven treys in the second half to get back into the ballgame after trailing 32-21 at halftime. Bluffton, however, shot 52% from the floor in the second half and outrebounded the Quakers 45-37 for the game.
Leimeister scored a game-high 18 points and added nine rebounds, while Bluffton junior Derek DeNero recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. DeNero's rebounding total is a new career high.
Senior Rod Overmyer hit two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points.
The game was Bluffton's home opener of the 2001-02 season. The Beavers improve to 2-1 on the season and now await their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference test on Wednesday at Manchester College.
Earlham leads the all-time series 19-18, but Bluffton has won seven of the last eight meetings between these two schools including the last four in a row.
Bluffton is led by 13th-year head coach Guy Neal, who ranks fourth on the BC all-time wins list with 126 victories. Earlham is led by fourth year head coach Jeff Justus.
Bluffton is 1-1 after taking third place at the Albion College Tip-Off Tournament last weekend. BC ripped Concordia (Mich.) 84-67 in the consolation game after falling by just two points to host Albion, who finished 16-9 last season. Earlham is 1-2 this season, with their one win coming at home on Tuesday over Rose-Hulman by eight points.
Dec. 20, 2000: Bluffton 65, Earlham 62: Bluffton held Earlham scoreless in the final two minutes of the game to take a 65-65 win last season in Richmond, Indiana. The Quakers held BC to a 33% shooting clip in the first half and used a 20-6 run before halftime to take a 34-26 lead at the intermission, but the Beavers went on an 11-2 run midway through the second half to take a 59-56 lead with under six minutes to go. Bluffton's Rod Overmyer sank two free throws with eight seconds left in the game and an Earlham 3-pointer at the buzzer rattled in and out. Overmyer scored 12 points and was one of three BC players in double figures.
Bluffton returns four letterwinners this season from last year's 16-9 squad, which finished one game back of the Heartland Conference regular season title. Earlham, meanwhile, returns eight letterwinners and four starters from last year's 16-10 squad, which won six of their last seven games.
Bluffton juniors Mike Leimeister and Marcus Bixler were named to the all-tournament team at the Albion Tip-Off Tournament last weekend. Leimeister averaged 19.5 points in the tournament, including a career-high 23 points in the final game, while Bixler collected 20 assists, including a school record 13 against Concordia, and averaged nine points for the weekend.
Three Earlham players are averaging in double figures, including forward Nathan Stoops, who was named second team all-conference last season after averaging over 15 points per game. He is averaging 16.7 points per game to lead the Quakers this season, while the backcourt combination of seniors Jason Smith and Travis Brett provide solid guard play.
On paper, Bluffton will have a definite advantage on the glass today. The Beavers are out-rebounding their opponents by seven boards per game so far this season, while Earlham has been out-rebounded by nearly 10 boards per game. However, Earlham's height in the frontcourt, including 6-3 Stoops, 6-4 Brady Keaton and 6-5 Sean O'Reilly will put BC at a size disadvantage that will be an obstacle to overcome for the Beavers.
The Quakers have attempted twice as many three-pointers this season as their opponents, but their 24 attempts per game this season from behind the arc are still 10 less per game than Bluffton opponents have attempted against the Beavers this season. In a percentage oddity, Earlham has seen their opponents shoot nearly 50% from the floor against them, but just 22% from 3-point range.
Around the HCAC
Headlining this weekend's Heartland Conference action, defending HCAC champion Defiance College (3-0) takes on Division I Bowling Green State University (2-1) Saturday in BG at 2:00 p.m.
Elsewhere around the HCAC, three teams are playing in tournaments, including Anderson at the Marsh Invitational, Mount St. Joseph at the Illinois College Tournament and Hanover at the John R. Collier Tournament. Rounding out the schedule, Manchester visits Hope Saturday.