Bluffton men knock off Manchester in crucial HCAC battle
January 12, 2011
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team hosted the Spartans
of Manchester College on Wednesday, January 12. The Beavers held a slim 36-34 advantage
at the break before outscoring the Spartans 47-38 in period two. Bluffton picked up
another win, bumping its record to 10-4 overall and 3-4 in the Heartland Conference.
The Spartans fell to 9-5 and 5-2 in the HCAC.
The Beavers took control early on, putting up consecutive layups from Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) and Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) to take a 4-0 lead after a minute of play. The Spartans found the
bottom of the net at the 18:29 mark with a Jordan Moss hoop.
The Beavers regained their four-point lead after a Hill three-pointer put Bluffton
up 10-6 at the 15:43 mark. Manchester responded with a three of their own from Tyler Delauder.
Bluffton slowly took control of the game as a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) four-point play gave the Beavers a 20-14 lead with just under
10 minutes left in the half. A Mitch Schaefer old-fashioned three-point play made it a one-possession game for the Spartans.
The Beavers went on a 7-0 run following the three-point play to push the lead to double
digits (27-17) with eight minutes left in the half after a Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) layup.
Manchester slowly pecked away at the lead over the next six minutes. A Moss free throw
pulled Manchester within three, 34-31, at the 2:38 mark. They continued to pressure
the Beavers and a last second Moss jumper made it 36-34 at the break.
Bluffton quickly took control of the game, pulling ahead by 11 following a Rob Luderman (Ayersville) hoop and harm early in the second half. Two Fisher free throws pushed
the margin to 15 with 13 minutes to play.
Manchester would not back down as they slowly chipped away at the lead. A Delauder
triple made the score 63-57 with 8:31 left in the game.
The Beavers used four Fisher points to open a 10-point lead before the teams traded
baskets over the next five minutes. Bluffton maintained its double-digit lead at the
3:51 mark after a Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) free throw.
The Beavers kept answering every Manchester run, before a Farley dunk with 20 ticks
remaining put an exclamation point on the victory as Bluffton came away with an 83-72
win over the Spartans.
The Beaver scoring was led by Fisher who put up a career-high 33 points while drilling
6-of-11 from behind the arc. Pope added nine for the Beavers. Hill and Nick Lee (Vanlue) followed closely behind Pope with eight markers apiece. Farley finished
the game with seven points, while ripping down a career-high equaling 14 boards.
The Spartan attack was evenly distributed as they put four players in double digits.
Moss led with 17 and Delauder was right behind with 15. Schaefer and Nathan Ferch both contributed double digits with 12 and 11, respectively.
Bluffton proved to be more efficient from the field, hitting 27-of-53 (50.9 percent),
while the Spartans only managed to make 24-of-60 (40.0 percent). The Beavers proved
deadly from distance, draining 12-for-22 (54.5 percent). Manchester hit just 9-of-27
(33.3 percent) from beyond the arc. The Spartans also struggled from the charity stripe
as they went 15-of-30 (50 percent), including a 2-for-11 performance down the stretch.
The Bluffton University men's basketball team will host Earlham following the women's
game on Saturday, January 15. The contest is slated to begin at 3 PM.