Beavers storm back before falling 65-62 to Rose-Hulman
February 13, 2010
By: Brent Schroeder, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men met up with Rose-Hulman Institute of
Technology in their final home contest of the 2009-10 campaign on Saturday, February
13. The Beavers rallied late in the second half but fell just short as Rose improved
to 7-16 overall and 3-11 in the Heartland Conference. Bluffton slipped to 2-22 overall
and 2-13 in the HCAC. Before the game, Bluffton honored seniors Josh Eichar (North Baltimore), Tyler Braidic (Pandora-Gilboa) and Jordan Pothast (Ottawa Glandorf) for their hard work both on and off the court.
Bluffton struck first on a layup by sophomore guard Mychal Hill (London/Jon. Alder). The Engineers answered quickly with a jump shot by senior guard
Jeff McCartney. The opening five minutes of the game featured three ties and six lead changes with
the Beavers and Engineers battling for momentum.
The Beaver offense went on hiatus after sophomore guard Nick Lee's (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) jumper tied the game at nine with 15:48 left in the first
half. The home team only scored two points over the next six minutes. Meanwhile, the
Engineers put up 14 points which gave them a commanding 23-11 lead midway through
the first period. The Beavers were left deflated as Rose-Hulman freshman forward Nate Gissentanner put in two lay-ups off of Beaver turnovers in a 25-second stretch. Bluffton limped
into the locker room down 13 at halftime (37-24).
The Beavers began the second half trying to claw their way back into the game. However,
sloppy possessions and consistent scoring by Austin Weatherford, Jon Gerken, and senior Jeff McCartney left the Beavers looking for answers at the 13:47 mark
in the second period as a 13-point deficit increased to a 18 (49-31) following a Jason Haslag deuce off the glass.
Bluffton still down by 17 with 8:28 left to play when Hill and Lee knocked down back-to-back
triples to make it an 11-point game at the 7:13 mark. Those buckets started a 13-0
jag which trimmed the RHIT lead to four points after consecutive steals by Josh Eichar
and Mychal Hill in the Rose backcourt.
The scoring explosion ended when Rose-Hulman's Jeff McCartney drained a three at the
5:35 mark to silence the home crowd. Bluffton freshman Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) would not be denied, however, as he quickly converted a tough
lay-up, switching hands and falling away from the basket while making the score 60-55
with 5:14 left in regulation.
The Beavers rallied to pull within one point on two Josh Fisher free throws with 10
seconds left in regulation, making the score 63-62. After a Bluffton foul, Rose-Hulman
sophomore guard Blake Knotts drained a pair of free throws to put the Engineers on top by three with seven seconds
left to play.
Bluffton called a timeout with four ticks remaining to draw up a final play. Beaver
senior Josh Eichar in-bounded the ball to Josh Fisher who hit Nick Lee with just two
seconds left. With a defender draped on him, Lee put up a prayer that was left unanswered
as the ball bounded off the side of the rim ensuring a season sweep of Bluffton by
Mychal Hill paced the home team with 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field.
He knocked down two threes, dished out four assists, came up with four steals and
buried five-of-six shots from the stripe. Brent Farley and Nick Lee also hit for double
digits with 15 and 10 points, respectively. Josh Eichar chipped in with four thefts
and four assists, while Nick Lee also doled out four assists. Eichar ripped down seven
rebounds and Farley finished with five caroms.
Rose-Hulman dominated on the glass (33-23), but the Engineers turned it over six more
times (17-11) than the home squad. RHIT was 27-of-50 (54 percent) from the field,
compared to 22-of-52 (42.3 percent) for Bluffton. Jason Haslag, who sat out over 18 minutes
of the first half with two fouls, and Austin Weatherford led the visitors with 13
points apiece. Jon Gerken tallied a game-high eight rebounds.
The final game for the Beavers will be on the road in a rematch against backyard rival
Defiance College. The first time the Yellow Jackets and the Beavers faced off, Bluffton
came away with its first win of the season as freshman Josh Fisher dropped in a career-high
29 points. The contest is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the Weaner Center.