2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 92, Manchester 61
Bluffton wins third straight with 92-61 drubbing of Manchester
January 16, 2013
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team rolled off its third straight Heartland Conference victory of over 20 points with a convincing 92-61 shellacking of Manchester University on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013. The Beavers improved to 7-9 overall and 3-6 in the Heartland Conference, while Manchester dropped to 4-12 and 1-8 in the HCAC.
The visitors used three early free throws to go up 5-2 at the 17:30 mark before 14 unanswered points by Bluffton set the tone for the rest of the contest. Freshman Thayne Recker (Arlington) scored four points during the spurt as Bluffton went up 16-5 at the 13:21 mark. The lead mushroomed to 21 (40-19) over the next 10 minutes thanks to the inside work of Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) and Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) as well as a pair of Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) triples.
Johnson's outside shooting was key to the first half as he drilled four three-pointers in the opening stanza to help carry the home team. The lead was still 20 points following a pair of free throws by Kinn at the 4:13 mark of the first half. However, Manchester was able to trim the deficit to 16 by halftime as the Spartans hit 5-of-6 free throws during the final 1:18.
The visitors cut the lead to 13 early in the second half, but the Beavers were able to pull away once again, this time with a five-point spurt from Pope to push the lead back to 18 at the 17:34 mark. Bluffton was up 62-44 at the 13:15 mark when the home team went on another run, starting with jumpers by sophomore Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Jefferson) and Nate Chambers (Miamisburg) and capped with back-to-back makes from beyond the arc by both of them.
With Bluffton up 72-44 at the 9:44 mark, the home squad never looked back en route to the 31-point win. All 16 Beavers got into the action for the third straight game with each one playing at least three minutes in the victory.
The Beavers were led by Pope who scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He also pulled down four boards. Johnson contributed 16 points, including a stellar 4-for-6 shooting night from beyond the arc. Kinn scored 13 points, on 5-for-6 shooting, while adding seven rebounds, three assists and a career-best four steals in the win. Recker added 11 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field in just 14 minutes of action. Ebbeskotte tallied seven points for the Beavers, while dishing out a career-high eight dimes.
It was an excellent shooting night for the home team as they hit 55.6 percent (35-for-63) from the floor, including 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and 12-for-16 (75 percent) at the foul line. The Beavers out-rebounded the Spartans 33-23 and finished with 18 more assists (27-9). Bluffton turned it over a season-low seven times against the visitors.
The Beavers will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, Jan. 19, to take on the nationally-ranked Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Engineers in a doubleheader with the women's team. The men's game will begin at 3 p.m. Bluffton's next contest in the Sommer Center will be Wednesday, Jan. 23, against the Earlham College Quakers at 7:30 p.m.