Leimeister scores 1000th career point but Bluffton falls to Defiance and Thomas MoreBy Tim Stried
February 24, 2003
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Feb. 27), The Witmarsum (Feb. 28), Alumni e-newsletter (Feb. 25), but you read it here first.
The Bluffton College men's basketball 1,000 point club added a member on Saturday as senior Mike Leimeister scored the 1,000th point of his career. He'll now lead the Beavers into a first round Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament game on Tues., Feb. 25 at Anderson University as Bluffton, the #7 seed, will be in search of the #2 seeded Ravens.
Bluffton split the season series with Anderson during the regular season as both clubs won on their home court. The Beavers defeated AU 93-84 in Founders Hall on Feb. 8 and fell 89-87 at Anderson on Jan. 11. The winner of Tuesday night's game will advance to the league's final four hosted by #1 seed Hanover College on Friday and Saturday.
Bluffton dropped a pair of games last week to see its record slip to 10-15 overall and 4-10 in the HCAC. BC was defeated 85-72 at Defiance on Wed. and 70-63 on Sat. on Senior Day. Seniors Marcus Bixler, Derek DeNero and Leimeister were honored prior to Saturday's game as they played their final game in Founders Hall. Over the past two seasons that trio has started every game together but one and this season has combined to score 1,065 points, which is the highest scoring total at BC by a senior class since the 1995-96 season when Jeremy Best, Greg Liebrecht and Jon Kirkton combined to score 1,067 points.
Final season statistical leaders and All-HCAC selections will be released next week.
Feb. 22: BC 63, TMC 70
Leimeister scored his 1000th career point, but a visiting Thomas More squad took a 70-63 win over the Beavers on Senior Day in Founders Hall.
Leimeister scored his 1000th point on short jumper off the right baseline with 45 seconds left before halftime as Bluffton went on a 10-0 run to close out the first half with a 31-22 lead, but Thomas More shot 53.6% from the floor in the second half and out-scored Bluffton 48-32 as the Beavers went cold from the field, hitting on just 34.8% of their shots, including 0-for-6 from 3-point land.
Leimeister, who entered Saturday's game 12 points shy of 1000, finished with a team-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to collect his fourth straight double-double and 12th of his career.
For the second game in a row, Bluffton out-rebounded and out-shot their opponent, but came out on the losing end as the Beavers dropped their fourth game in a row after upping their record to 10-11 two weeks ago. Bluffton out-shot Thomas More 40.7% to 38.7% and out-rebounded the Saints 41-35. Bluffton led by as many as 11 points early through the second half, but Thomas More went on a 21-6 run to take a four point lead at 50-46 with 8:17 left to play and Bluffton was unable to reclaim the lead.
DeNero finished with seven points and a season-high 10 rebounds, while Bixler added 12 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Junior Brad Boyles scored 13 points off the bench for the Beavers.
Feb. 19: BC 72, Defiance 85
Bluffton out-shot and out-rebounded Defiance Wed. night, but the host Yellow Jackets scored 32 points off 28 Bluffton turnovers en route to an 85-72 win at Defiance.
A season-high 1,600 fans saw Bluffton shoot 55.3% from the floor, compared to 46.7% for Defiance, and out-rebound the Jackets 31-29, but Defiance went on a 17-2 run mid-way through the first half en route to a 50-35 halftime lead that the Beavers were unable to overcome in the second half despite out-scoring DC 37-35 over the final 20 minutes.
Leimeister led Bluffton with 14 points and tied his career-high with 12 rebounds to collect his 11th career double-double. Boyles added 12 points and freshman Eric Sweet chipped in 10.
Bluffton opened the game with a 9-2 run and led again by seven points at 14-7 with 15:33 left in the first half. Leimeister scored eight of those points, but was then held to six points over the remainder of the game. It was the first time in five career outings against the Yellow Jackets that Leimeister didn't score at least 30 points. On Jan. 22 Leimeister scored a career-high 42 points in Bluffton's 97-93 win over Defiance in Founders Hall.