2002-03 Men's Basketball
bc 79, msj 76
Bluffton tops Mount St. Joseph 79-76 for first-ever win on Lion home courtBy Tim Stried
February 1, 2003
Bluffton College shot over 57% from 3-point range and overcame a 12-point first half deficit to knock off The College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati Saturday afternoon.
The win was Bluffton's first in five trips to The Harrington Center as the Beavers get back into the win column after dropping two straight. Bluffton, which had four players score in double figures, is now 9-11 overall and 2-7 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while Mount St. Joseph sees their record slip to 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the HCAC.
Senior Marcus Bixler scored 14 points in the second half and ended the game with a team-high 19 points as he was a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range to lead the Beavers, which made 12-of-21 shots from trey land and forced 19 Lion turnovers.
Mount St. Joseph went on a 15-5 run early in the game to lead 22-10 with 11:31 left in the first half, which would mark the largest lead for either squad in the game. Bluffton went on a 13-2 run at that point to trail by just one point at 24-23 with 8:03 remaining in the first half, then scored the last nine points before halftime but still trailed 33-32 at the break.
The two teams traded the lead back and forth to begin the second half before Bluffton went on a 10-2 run mid-way through the second half to take a nine-point lead at 60-51 with 8:37 remaining in the game. That lead would eventually grow to 11, but The Mount came back in the final minute to trail by one point at 77-76 with seven seconds to play. Bixler made a pair of free throws at that point, however, and the Lions missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Senior Mike Leimeister added 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds, and freshman Scott Bergman scored 14 points. Senior Derek DeNero chipped in 11 points and freshman Darren Clark, who took a key charge with 24 seconds left in the game, finished with eight points.
E.J. Engelkamp led the Lions with 20 points.
Bluffton will return to action next Saturday at home against Anderson University at 3 p.m.