Hot 3-point shooting gives Bluffton men first HCAC win at TransylvaniaBy Tim Stried
January 20, 2003
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Jan. 23), The Witmarsum (Jan. 24), Alumni e-newsletter (Jan. 21), but you read it here first.
Not in one of their previous 57 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference games had the Bluffton College men's basketball team ever shot the 3-pointer quite as well as they did Sat. afternoon at Transylvania University, and the hot shooting produced the Beavers' first HCAC win of the season as BC knocked off TU 93-83 in Lexington, Ky.
Bluffton hit 12-of-16 shots from beyond the arc for a 75.0% clip that set the BC record for superiority from trey land in an HCAC contest. Bluffton shot a season-high 63.3% for all field goals as the Beavers improved to 7-9 overall and 1-5 in the HCAC.
Bluffton will host Defiance College Wed. at 7:30 p.m. in the 170th meeting between these two schools in a rematch of last season's 106-103 BC win that head coach Guy Neal called the greatest game in Founders Hall that he has been associated with since he arrived at Bluffton in 1989. Bluffton will then host Hanover Sat. at 3 p.m.
Neal now has 142 wins at BC, which gives him sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list. He is closing in on Glenn Snyder, who owns the record of 150 wins.
Senior Mike Leimeister's 23.1 points per game is tops in the HCAC this season and he ranks 2nd in rebounding (7.9 rpg) and 6th in field goal percentage (.558). Two other BC players are averaging in double figures, including senior Derek DeNero (11.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 23 3-pointers) and junior Brad Boyles (10.1 ppg), who ranks 2nd in field goal percentage (.620). Senior Marcus Bixler (9.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg) ranks 3rd in the HCAC in assists (4.5 apg), 4th in steals (1.7 spg) and 5th in 3-point shooting percentage (.435).
Jan. 18: BC 93, TU 83
In addition to the aforementioned shooting phenomenon, Leimeister scored a game-high 29 points and freshman Scott Bergman scored a career-high 20 points in his first collegiate start to lead BC past Transylvania 93-83 Sat.
Bixler and DeNero finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively and freshman Darren Clark added a career-high nine points.
Bluffton led by as many as 17 points in the first half at 32-15 with 5:25 remaining before halftime but the Pioneers went on an 13-0 run at that point to cut the lead to four points with 1:31 left. BC led 38-29 at the intermission and pushed their lead back up to 18 points with 11:55 remaining in the game.
Transylvania clawed their way back into the game, however, to again trail by just four points with under six minutes to go, but the Pioneers got no closer as Leimeister scored Bluffton's next 11 points to keep Bluffton ahead.
Jan. 15: BC 75, TMC 89
Three Bluffton players scored 15 or more points and the Beavers shot 54.3% from the field, but host Thomas More College handed BC an 89-75 loss last Wed. night in Crestview Hill, Ky.
Thomas More went to the free throw line 40 times in the game, converting on 32 of those free chances, and shot 56.3% from the field to hand Bluffton (6-9 overall) their third loss in a row after winning four straight prior to that. It marked just the second time this season Bluffton has allowed their opponent to shoot over 50% from the field and BC was whistled for a season-high 26 personal fouls.
Leimeister and DeNero combined for 28 points in the first half but were held to a combined total of eight points in the second half. They both ended with a game-high 18 points, while Boyles came off the bench to score 15 points, with 10 of those coming in the second half.