2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 94, OSU-Lima 54
Beavers move into McDonald's final with 94-54 rout of OSU-Lima
December 29, 2011
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men hosted the Ohio State-Lima Barons on Thursday, December 29 in the first round of the McDonald's Holiday Tournament. The Beavers took a 43-23 lead at the half and continued to pour it on in the second period to claim a 94-54 victory. Bluffton snapped a four-game skid in improving to 6-4, while the Barons fell to 4-13.
The game went back-and-forth as a Nick Lee (Vanlue) three gave Bluffton a 3-2 lead following a Marvin Barnes jumper. The Barons answered with two more buckets to take a three-point lead at the 16:34 mark.
The Beavers responded with a 4-0 run to reclaim the lead (7-6) after two Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) free throws. The teams continued to trade buckets over the next few minutes, but consecutive Blade Tackett (Crestline/Colonel Crawford) three-pointers gave Bluffton a 15-11 lead at the 12:31 mark.
The Barons would not give in and they tied the game back up at 17 midway through the first half. However, the home team found its groove, stifling the Barons with a 19-0 jag over a six-minute span for a 36-17 lead with just 4:28 left in the half.
A Donyale Tyree layup pulled the visitors within 15, but another Lee three followed by a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) layup put Bluffton back up by 20 with two minutes left in the period. The Barons added a bucket at the one-minute mark before a Jon Fowler (Cincinnati/St. Xavier) layup pushed Bluffton to a 20-point spread (43-23) at the break.
The Beavers started the half with consecutive three-pointers by Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) and Lee to push the lead to 26. The Barons slowly chipped away as a Dontraa Hutchins old-fashioned three-point play made the score 51-34 five minutes into the second half.
Bluffton answered the call over the next five minutes as a Steve Swick (Elida) layup gave Bluffton a 70-36 lead midway through the second stanza. A Matt Gerdeman (Delphos/Jefferson) free throw at the 4:45 mark gave Bluffton its largest lead of the night, 88-41.
The Barons outscored the hosts 13-6 down the stretch, but the outcome was never in doubt as 14 Beavers scored in the 94-54 victory over OSU-Lima. The Beavers advanced to the championship game of the holiday tournament tomorrow, while the Barons play in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
Pacing the Beavers was Lee with 14 points on 4-for-5 shooting from downtown. Fisher added 13 points on 5-of-8 from the field. Jon Fowler chipped in with a career-high 12 markers, and Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) finished the game with 10 points and 12 boards for his fourth career double-double. Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) just missed out on a double-double with eight points, 12 boards, five takeaways and two blocks. Mychal Hill contributed with eight counters and five dimes. The Barons placed two players in double digits. Zac Reames and Brady Schroeder each tallied 10 points.
The Beavers were impressive from the floor, going 38-of-65 (58.5 percent) and 8-of-20 (40 percent) from deep. The Barons struggled, making just 21-of-63 (33.3 percent) from the floor and 3-of-16 (18.8 percent) behind the arc. Bluffton dominated the boards, pulling in 22 more than the visitors (49-27). The Beavers turned it over two more times (19-17) than OSU-Lima.
The Beavers will be back in action on Friday, December 30, when they face Grove City in the championship game of the McDonald's Holiday Tournament. The contest is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. and it will follow the consolation game featuring OSU-Lima and Muskingum College at 1 p.m.