2002-03 Men's Basketball
bc 72, ec 68
Bluffton pulls away down the stretch to knock off Earlham 72-68By Tim Stried, SID
November 26, 2002
Bluffton College pulled away from host Earlham College Tuesday night to take a 72-68 win on the road over the previously unbeaten Quakers.
With the game tied at 59-59 with 2:20 left to play, Bluffton scored the game's next seven points to take a 66-59 lead and force Earlham to play catch-up. The Quakers got within three points with 14 seconds left but the Beavers held on for their first win of the season.
Senior Mike Leimeister scored 19 second half points and finished with a game-high 26 points as Bluffton shot 56% from the field in the second half and converted 15-of-21 free throw attempts.
For the game, Bluffton (1-2) out-shot Earlham (2-1) 50.0% to 42.1% and out-rebounded the Quakers by two (33-31).
Sophomore Bryce Beilharz scored a career-high 11 points to be the other Beaver in double-figures, while senior Marcus Bixler scored eight points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. Senior Derek DeNero chipped in nine points.
Bluffton trailed by as many as six points in the first half before coming back to tie the score at 27-27 at halftime. The Beavers began the second half with a 13-4 run to take a seven-point lead but Earlham would regain the lead and go up by five points with under five minutes to go. Eight straight points from Leimeister, however, gave the lead back to Bluffton and BC would not trail the rest of the way.
Bluffton will return to action Friday as hosts of the Taco Bell/Comfort Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Founders Hall. The Beavers will take on Marygrove College at 8 p.m.