2009-10 Men's Basketball
Kalamazoo 49, Bluffton 45
Kalamazoo breaks into win column with victory over Beavers
January 2, 2010
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team held a slim 17-15 halftime lead at Kalamazoo on Saturday, January 2, 2010, but the Hornets hit 14-of-15 free throws in the second stanza to secure their first victory of the season over the Beavers. Bluffton remains winless at 0-13 on the season, while Kalamazoo moved to 1-10 overall.
Sophomore post Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) tied the game at two with his jumper in the paint just over a minute in. Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) gave the Beavers their first lead of the game (4-2) with 17:32 to play in the first half. Following a four-minute dry spell, freshman Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) and Farley both hit from in close to make the score 8-4.
Both teams struggled with offensive woes throughout the first 20 minutes before Eichar's conventional three-point play with two minutes to go in the period propelled the Beavers to a 17-15 lead at the break.
A triple from Tyler Braidic (Pandora-Gilboa) at the 16:59 mark gave the Beavers a short lived 20-17 lead. Joe Prepolec quickly answered with an old-fashioned three-point play on Kalamazoo's ensuing trip down the floor. Five Josh Eichar freebies during a two-minute span put the visitors back up by a point (25-24) with 13:41 showing on the clock.
Following a pair of hoops by Eichar that pulled Bluffton within a point (31-30), the Hornets used a 7-2 spurt to forge a 38-32 advantage with 8:32 to play. Sophomore Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) and Fisher sandwiched a pair of deep balls around two Prepolec foul shots to make the score 40-38 Kalamazoo at the 6:19 mark.
Josh Eichar set the clock back to 3 p.m. with a pair of free throws which made the score 40-40. However, after Fisher again knotted the score a minute later, the Hornets hit five of their final six foul shots to secure the 49-45 victory in a matchup of previously winless opponents.
The Beavers hit just 15-of-48 (31.3 percent) shots from the field, including 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) outside the arc. Kalamazoo also struggled from the field, connecting on 15-of-41 (36.6 percent) attempts. The home team pulled down 33 rebounds, six more than Bluffton, while the Hornets turned it over three more times (21-18). Kalamazoo finished with eight blocked shots to just one for Bluffton. The Beavers were 11-of-15 (73.3 percent) at the stripe, compared to 17-of-19 (89.5 percent) for Kalamazoo.
Josh Eichar led Bluffton with a game-high 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 8-for-9 at the line. He just missed out on a double-double with nine rebounds, while also handing out three assists and picking up three steals. Josh Fisher tallied 12 points (2-of-3 on treys) in 26 minutes off the bench. Brent Farley chipped in with eight points, five rebounds and three steals while Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) and Fisher both collected four caroms.
Bluffton jumps back into conference action on Wednesday, January 6, 2010, when the Beavers host HCAC foe Hanover College in the second game of a women's and men's doubleheader. The contest is slated to tip at 8 p.m. in Founders Hall.