Thomas More rides strong first half to 90-78 win over Beavers
November 17, 2009
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team fell behind early thanks
to some hot shooting by Thomas More and the Beavers were unable to get over the hump
as the Saints held on for a 90-78 win in the 2009-10 season opener on Tuesday, November
17. The visitors used a deadly three-point shooting barrage to fuel their scoring
attack. The loss dropped Bluffton to 0-1 overall, while Thomas More, the pre-season
favorite in the PAC, stands 1-0.
Senior Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) got the first points of the new campaign with a layup at the 19:35
mark, making the score 2-0. Thomas More's Eddie Brown answered with a three-pointer on the next possession, making it 3-2 in favor of the
Minutes later at the 14:30 mark, sophomore pivot Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) found Rob Luderman (Defiance/Ayersville) for a jumper, giving Bluffton a 9-8 lead. The Saints responded
with a Daniel Whelan layup, making the score 13-10.
Johnny Bovard extended the Thomas More lead to five (25-20) with a three-pointer midway through
the opening half. Bovard torched the Beavers from distance in the first half, going
5-of-6 from beyond the arc. A Dan Neeley three-pointer made the score 35-25 at the 7:27 mark.
The Saints opened their largest lead of the half, 41-25, minutes later with another
Bovard three-ball. The Beavers put together a small run, capped off by a Josh Eichar
layup from Tyler Braidic (Pandora-Gilboa), which trimmed the deficit to 10 points, 43-33, with 3:50 left in
the half. At the 2:34 mark, a Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) hoop made the score 46-35.
The Saints capped off the half with a Daniel McKeehan three-point play, making the score 51-36 with 1:21 left. The visitors carried a 53-40
lead into the break, with an amazing 43 of their points coming from the bench. The
Beavers controlled the paint in the first half, outscoring the Saints 30-18 inside.
Coming out to start the second half, sophomore Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) tried to jumpstart the Beavers' offense as he nailed a three-ball
at the 18:42 mark. Lee continued his hot shooting as he knocked down another triple,
trimming the deficit to 56-46. After Lee drained his third three-pointer of the half
to make the score 59-51, the Saints' advantage was quickly pushed back to double digits
with a Brian Muse layup.
Senior Jordan Pothast cut the deficit to just ten points at the 14:18 mark (64-54),
but the Saints came charging back to push their lead to 65-54 when Daniel McKeehan
split a pair of free throws with 11:29 left in the contest. At the 9:50 mark Lee drilled
another three for the Beavers, bringing the deficit back to ten points, 69-59.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, the visitors seemed to have an answer for every rally.
The closest Bluffton got for the rest of the game was when Nick Lee converted a layup
to make the score 69-63 with 8:50 on the clock. Just a minute later, the Beavers once
again found themselves down by double digits as Aaron Miller converted a pair of free throws for a 76-63 advantage. A layup by Brian Muse with
under thirty seconds to go in the game sealed the 90-78 victory for the Saints.
Leading the way in the scoring column for Bluffton was guard Nick Lee with a career-high
24 points. Lee was 9-for-15 from the floor, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) pulled down a team-high six rebounds. Brent Farley had a strong all-around
game as he controlled the paint with four of Bluffton's five blocks. Farley also established
new career-bests with four assists and 15 points.
The Saints received a balanced scoring attack, with five players tallying double figures.
Johnny Bovard came off the bench to lead the team with 15 points, all on threes in
the first 20 minutes of action. Daniel McKeehan grabbed six boards for the visitors.
The Beavers will be back in action this weekend as they travel to Albion. The tournament
takes place on November 20 and 21. Bluffton's first game is slated for Friday night
at 6 p.m. against DePauw.