2013-14 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 72, Transylvania 60
By: Adriane Bruner, sports information assistant
February 22, 2014
BLUFFTON, Ohio - In the final game of the season the Bluffton men were looking for a victory against Transylvania University. With four seniors in the starting lineup Bluffton jumped out quickly, opening a 15-13 lead with all of the points coming from those donning the Purple and White for a final time. The Beavers took over midway through the second half, rolling to a 72-60 victory over the Pioneers. Bluffton improved to 10-15 overall and 6-12 in the HCAC, while the Pioneers ended their regular season at 9-16 and 7-11 in the conference.
As the Pioneers were the first to get on the board, the Beavers were quick to follow with two plays in the paint, a deuce from DUSTIN KINN (Alvada/New Riegel) and a JORDAN TURNER (Swanton/Delta) putback which was followed by a hoop and harm for Kinn to put Bluffton up 7-4 just over three minutes into game play. Again taking advantage inside the key, JON FOWLER (Cincinnati/ St. Xavier) tacked on four consecutive points of his own as the Bluffton seniors all came out with a bang for their final game on Copeland Court.
Once again using the talent inside, WILL POPE (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) came up with back-to-back follows for a 29-20 spread at the 5:52 mark. However, the large lead was short lived as the Pioneers had two consecutive long range shots behind the arc and an old-fashioned three-point play to make the score 34-32 at the break.
The Pioneers picked right up where they left off when they opened period two with a three-point shot from PARKER STANSBERRY. While RYAN EBBESKOTTE (Fort Jennings/Delphos Jefferson) made his attempt to counter them with a drive to the basket, the Pioneers secured their lead with a jumper and yet another shot from distance that put the visitors up 42-36. Transylvania held the lead until Pope earned himself an and one call to take the lead and then bolstered by a bucket inside from THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) that capped a quick 11-2 Bluffton splurge.
As Bluffton went ahead 49-47 on a Pope chip shot, the home team never looked back. With the Beavers in the bonus they capitalized with points from the charity stripe while their stout defense kept the Pioneers at bay. With one last tip-in for Pope, the seniors all stepped off the court with mixed emotions while earning their final victory over Transylvania, 72-60.
Bluffton went 28-of-55 (50.9 percent) from the field, while Transylvania hit 23-of-59 (39.0 percent). The Pioneers struggled to get to the charity stripe as they were 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) while the Beavers went 12-of-18 (66.7 percent). Transy was solid as usual from deep, going 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) while the Beavers were less active from the three-point line, hitting 4-of-8 (50.0 percent). The teams proved to be adept in the ball handling department with just 11 turnovers apiece, but the Beavers showed their might on the boards with a commanding 40-27 advantage.
Leading the Beavers was Will Pope with 19 points, going 9-of-13 from the field with eight rebounds. In a close second was Ryan Ebbeskotte with 16 points of his own. Earning a double double for Bluffton was Thayne Recker with 11 points and 10 boards. Leading the Pioneers was ALEX JONES with 13 points, followed by Parker Stansberry and .LOGAN WADE who each added 12 counters in the loss. Transy will make the short trip to Mount St. Joseph on Tuesday evening for a first-round matchup with the Lions at 7:30 p.m.