2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 106, Wright State-Lake 65
Bluffton dismantles Wright St.-Lake in McDonald's Tournament
December 28, 2012
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers hosted Wright State-Lake in the nightcap of the 2012 McDonald's Holiday Tournament at the Sommer Center on Friday, Dec. 28, and advanced to the championship game after a 106-65 victory. The 41-point spread marked the largest margin of victory in any McDonald's contest, breaking the old record of 40 points set by Bluffton last year against OSU-Lima.
Junior Josh Johnson (Ottawa-Glandorf) started things off with a three-pointer on Bluffton's first possession. After a Ryan Payne answer from deep, the Beavers took the lead back when senior Tyler Neal (Bluffton) found Johnson open for two. Payne tied it up again, but Neal collected his third assist of the game when he hit Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegal) under the basket an easy deuce, giving Bluffton a 7-5 lead at the 18:35 mark.
The Beavers found themselves up by just one at the 13:38 mark, but back-to-back layups from bigs Thayne Recker (Arlington) and Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee), respectively, sent the home team on a massive 20-6 run that was capped by a three-pointer from freshman Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic). That spurt put Bluffton up 36-22 with 6:48 remaining in the half and helped them to a 53-33 halftime lead.
After Payne continued his scoring with a three to start the second half, Bluffton senior Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) scored the next five points of the game with a three, then a steal and layup that gave the Beavers a 58-36 lead with just over a minute gone in the half.
Freshman Nate Chambers (Miamisburg) pushed the Bluffton lead to 30 at the 10:12 mark after putting back his own miss. The home team continued to pour gasoline on the fire and nine minutes later Jacob Mahnke (Defiance/Tinora), playing in his first collegiate game, pushed the Beavers over the 100-point mark with his third trifecta in three attempts. After a Matt Gerdeman (Delphos/Jefferson) layup gave the Beavers a 39-point cushion, sophomore Zach Rumbaugh (Lima/Senior) put a cap on the game with a jumper, making the final score 106-65.
Pope led the Beavers with 15 points on a 7-of-12 shooting performance from the field. The junior also tallied three boards, two steals, two assists and a blocked shot. Kinn finished with 13 points and three rebounds after shooting 4-of-5 from the field and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. Rounding out the double-digit scorers for Bluffton was Johnson with 12 counters and three rebounds.
Taflinger and Mahnke added nine points each for the Beavers, while Gerdeman, Chambers and Neal each totaled seven. Recker finished the game with eight points, four rebounds and three assists, while Dillon Long (Rockford/Parkway) and Jon Fowler (Cincinnati/St. Xavier) added six each. Rounding out the scoring for Bluffton were Fisher with five and Rumbaugh with two.
Bluffton shot 60.3 percent from the field (44-of-73), including 47.4 percent (9-of-19), and 81.8 percent from the free throw line (9-of-11). The Beavers out-rebounded the Lakers, 43-22, and committed eight fewer turnovers, 22-14.
Bluffton will take on a talented Ohio Wesleyan squad at 3 p.m. tomorrow in the McDonald's Holiday Tournament Championship. That contest will follow the 1 p.m. consolation game between Pittsburg-Greensburg and Wright State-Lake.