2011-12 Men's Basketball
Kalamazoo 75, Bluffton 66
Hornets knock off Beavers 75-66 at Kalamazoo
December 7, 2011
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team trimmed a 17-point second half deficit to three points late in the game, but Kalamazoo responded for a 75-66 victory on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. The Beavers dropped to 5-2 following their second straight setback, while K-zoo improved to 2-3 on the season.
After falling behind by 17 points (53-36) with 13:54 to play, Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) cranked it up a notch and ignited a 27-13 run with 15 consecutive points in a span of three minutes. The junior standout drained a pair of long-range triples and added an old-fashioned three-point play as the Beavers pulled within three (66-63) at the 4:25 mark when Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) drained a pair from the charity stripe.
Another Fisher trey again made it a three-point game with 2:24 to play, but the home team went 4-of-6 at the line in the final minute of the contest to secure a 75-66 win over the Beavers.
Kalamazoo came out of the gate on fire, hitting its first four shots en route to a 9-0 lead just over two minutes into the game. Sophomore Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) broke the ice with 17:22 on the clock before back-to-back Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) makes from distance and a pair of Heckelman freebies helped Bluffton make it a one-point game (11-10) at the 14:57 mark.
A Steve Swick (Elida) jumper started an 8-2 spurt by the Beavers that gave Bluffton its first lead of the game (20-19) midway through the first period. Junior Tyler Neal (Bluffton) and sophomore Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) got into the action with a pair of hoops in the paint, giving the Beavers their largest lead of the night (26-22). However, the home team ended the half on a 16-8 run for a 38-34 Hornet lead at the break.
Another slow start by the Beavers allowed Kalamazoo to open up its 53-36 spread as the Hornets shut down Bluffton 15-2 over the first six minutes of period two. The only hoop for Bluffton during that span was a Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) bucket from in close.
Fisher came off the bench and paced the visitors with 18 points, all in the final 14 minutes of the game, and three steals on 3-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Mychal Hill also hit 3-for-8 from deep for 15 points with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Farley ripped down a team-high eight boards, while Heckelman finished with six rebounds and six points. Kinn and Pope chipped in with five caroms apiece.
Bluffton struggled to a 23-of-67 (34.3 percent) shooting night, compared to a Kalamazoo squad that lit it up for 50 percent from the field (26-of-52). Both teams drained eight triples on the night. The home team converted just 15-of-27 (55.6 percent) at the line, while Bluffton was 12-of-17 (70.6 percent) on free throws. The Beavers finished with a 43-37 edge on the glass as both teams turned it over 16 times.
Bluffton moves back into Heartland Conference action when it travels to Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011. The men's contest is slated for 3 p.m. following the women's game with the Engineers.