2013-14 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 70, Earlham 45
By: Kyle Stover, sports information assistant
December 4, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team opened up Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action in impressive fashion on Wednesday, Dec. 4, dominating Earlham in the paint en route to a 70-45 win. The Beavers took just a five-point lead into halftime, but went on a 16-0 run early in the second period to put away the Quakers.
After Earlham took a 2-0 lead to start the game, the Beavers went on a 14-0 spurt to take a commanding lead with 12:12 to play in the half. Junior BROCK HOMIER (Continental) knocked down a trio of triples during that run to give Bluffton the 12-point advantage early on. The two squads battled back and forth through much of the remainder of the half with Earlham making a late push to get within five (27-22) at the break.
The second half opened up in a big way for the Beavers with senior post WILL POPE (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) scoring 10 points during a 16-0 Bluffton run to kick off the half, with all 16 of those points coming in the paint. Homier fed the bigs with five assists in the first five minutes of the period, forcing Earlham to take three timeouts in the process. The Beavers maintained that lead for the remainder of the game, pulling away for a 70-45 victory. Bluffton outscored Earlham 32-8 in the paint and 12-0 on fast break points in the second half.
Homier led Bluffton in scoring, tying a career high with 17 points to go along with his game-high and career-best eight assists. Pope had 15 points, while DUSTIN KINN (Alvada/New Riegel) added 10 and THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) chipped in 12 as the Beavers dominated the paint. Recker pulled down a game-high 11 boards for his third career double-double. BILLY TAFLINGER (Lima/Central Catholic) was also in double figures, netting 10 points while dishing out six assists.
Bluffton showed its might on the boards, pulling down 22 more rebounds than the Quakers (50-28). The home team went 29-of-61 from the field (47.5 percent), compared to just 18-for-59 (30.5 percent) by the Quakers. The Beavers finished with a ridiculous 25 assists on their 29 baskets.
Bluffton improved to 3-3 on the year with a 1-0 mark in the HCAC, while Earlham fell to 1-5 (0-1 HCAC). The Beavers will be back in action in the Sommer Center again this Saturday, Dec. 7, when they take on conference foe Franklin College. That contest is scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. following the women's game with the Grizzlies.