2013-14 Men's Basketball
Rose-Hulman 61, Bluffton 55
February 15, 2014
By: Adriane Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men gave Rose-Hulman all it wanted and then some during the first 20 minutes, rolling out to a 40-22 lead, but when the dust settled the number one team in the Heartland Conference showed why it has been there all season with a methodical 61-55 victory on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. The Beavers slipped to 8-15 overall with a current record of 4-12 in the HCAC, while the Engineers moved to 19-4 and 14-2 in the conference.
The Beavers started the game out quickly, taking advantage of the big men in the paint with consecutive power plays from THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) and DUSTIN KINN (Alvada/New Reigel), putting Bluffton up 6-0 just 2:26 into the contest. ZACH RUMBAUGH (Lima/Senior) added insult to injury by tacking on back-to-back triples giving the Beavers a 12-2 lead.
Bluffton proved the Beavers were a force to be reckoned with as they continued the onslaught with more points from inside the paint before a three-point shot by TREY ELCHERT (Jackson Center) made the score 21-10. Facing an 18-point deficit at the 4:56 mark, the Engineers tried to come back with a trey and a deuce, but Bill Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) converted a hoop-and-harm before Kinn capped the scoring with a jumper in the paint for a 40-22 lead at the break.
The Engineers answered the bell in the second half, trying to make up for the first 20 minutes with seven points before Bluffton was able to put any tallies on the board. While the Beavers tried to hold on to their lead with a strong play in the paint from WILL POPE (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) and another basket from Recker, the visitors continued to make their way back into the game.
Having brought the lead down to only eight points with just under ten minutes remaining, senior All-American JULIAN STICKLAND took over for his team, going on a 7-0 run of his own against the Beavers. As Bluffton struggled on the offensive end, Rose-Hulman took its first lead of the game, 53-51, with 4:17 to play. The home team battled back and tied it at 55 before Strickland scored the final six points for a 61-55 victory.
Leading the Beavers was Thayne Recker with 12 points, going 5-of-8 from the field and 2-of-2 at the charity stripe. Also in double digits for Bluffton was Dustin Kinn with 10 points on a perfect 4-of-4 shooting in his first start since the teams last met back in early January. Pacing the Engineers was Julian Strickland with 27, six boards and three assists while shooting 10-of-17 from the field.
Bluffton went 22-of-47 (46.8 percent) from the field, while Rose-Hulman hit 23-of-45 (51.1 percent). The Beavers struggled from the charity stripe as they were 8-of-13 (61.5 percent) while the Engineers made just 11-of-19 (57.9 percent). The Engineers added points with the three-point arc, going 4-of-10 (40.0 percent) while the Beavers hit 3-of-9 (33.3 percent). While the Beavers turned it over four fewer times (12-8), the Engineers were more aggressive on the boards to earn their victory (30-21).
The Beavers will make their way to Richmond, Ind., when they hit the court again this Wednesday, Feb. 19. The contest against Earlham College is slated to tip at 7:30 PM.