Bluffton overcomes big early deficit but Mount St. Joseph prevails 67-60By Tim Stried
December 16, 2002
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Dec. 19), The Witmarsum, Alumni e-newsletter (Dec. 17), but you read it here first.
The Bluffton College men's basketball team overcame a seven-minute dry spell in the first half to nearly take the lead early in the second half, but a visiting Mount St. Joseph squad held off BC's rally to take a 67-60 win Saturday afternoon in Founders Hall in BC's only game last week.
Bluffton falls to 2-6 overall and 0-3 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and will face four consecutive non-league games in the next three weeks, with three of those games being played at home. BC will host Denison University Sat., Dec. 21 at 3 p.m. and will then host the Fifth Annual McDonalds of Bluffton Holiday Tournament Dec. 30 and 31.
Bluffton, which ranks third in the league in free throw percentage (.718) and fifth in field goal percentage (.458), is led by senior Mike Leimeister, who leads the HCAC in scoring (22.9 ppg) and ranks third in rebounding (7.8 rpg). Junior Brad Boyles ranks 16th in scoring (11.6 ppg) and ranks second in field goal percentage (.621), while senior Derek DeNero ranks 20th in scoring (10.4 ppg). Senior Marcus Bixler leads the HCAC in steals (2.6 spg) and ranks third in assists (4.1 apg).
Mount St. Joseph
Bluffton junior Brad Boyles hit a lay-up on Bluffton's first possession of the game but the Mount then held the Beavers without a field goal until the 12:24 mark in the first half as the Lions built a 22-3 lead to start the game.
That would be the visitors' biggest lead of the game, though, as Bluffton then hit 12-of-19 field goal attempts to close out the first half and trail by 11 points at halftime, 41-30.
Bluffton then scored the first nine points of the second half to bring the deficit to just two points at 41-39 with 17:16 remaining in the game, but Mount St. Joseph was able to answer BC baskets down the stretch to keep the lead and eventually pull away for their seven point win.
Bluffton senior Mike Leimeister scored a team-high 18 points, 16 coming in the second half, and tied his career high with 12 rebounds to notch his fourth career double-double. Boyles ended the game with 12 points.
Bluffton's 14 offensive rebounds led to an 18-10 advantage in second-chance points and BC outscored MSJ 44-32 in the paint, but the Beavers were held to several season-lows, including made 3-pointers (2), 3-point shooting percentage (.143, 2-for-14), and all three free throw categories (8-for-14, .571).