Mount St. Joseph 65, Bluffton 63
Beavers fall to 15-7 overall and 5-6 in the HCAC with 65-63 loss at Mount St. Joseph
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
February 8, 2006
CINCINNATI, Ohio -The Bluffton University men's basketball team dropped its fourth consecutive contest 65-63 to the College of Mount St. Joseph (14-8, 7-4 HCAC) on Wednesday, February 8, 2006. Following the loss the Beavers now stand at 15-7 overall and 5-6 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference with three regular season games remaining.
Rick Wiehe put the Lions on the board first when he slashed his way to the hoop less than 30 seconds into the contest. Eric Sweet (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) followed a Scott Bergman (Elmore/Woodmore) trifecta with a layup of his own to give the Beavers a 5-2 advantage at the 18:33 mark. The Mount then went on a 14-4 run over the next five minutes to take a 16-9 lead before Bergman scored the Beavers' next nine points to cut the deficit to four points with eight minutes to play in the first half. Freshman post Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) hit a bucket and converted a pair of freebies from the charity stripe to tie the game at 22. Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) drilled a shot from downtown to give the Beavers a 25-24 lead with 6:17 left in the half. The Lions ran off nine consecutive points before Cunningham hit his second triple of the night and Sweet scored from in close to trim the gap to two points with a minute to play in the first period. Jeff Perry drained a 3-pointer as time expired to send the Lions to the break with a six-point cushion, 37-31.
The Beavers opened the second half with an 11-5 run, including six points from Sweet and a Bergman trifecta, to tie the game at 42 with just under 16 minutes to play in the game. When senior Darren Clark (Plain City/Jonathon Alder) found the hoop midway through the second half, he put Bluffton up 50-49. The Lions responded with seven straight points to take a 56-50 lead at the 7:40 mark. Freshman Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) freed himself in the paint and was fouled on a made basket. Bergman boarded the miss and was fouled as well. He hit both of his free throws and drained a jumper to tie the game at 58 with 2:31 to play in the final stanza. Kevin Darthard put the Lions up 63-58 with a minute remaining before freshman Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) hit a jumper with 23 seconds left. Scott Bergman drained his fifth triple of the night with six ticks remaining, but Jeff Perry hit 2-4 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory for the Lions by a score of 65-63.
Bergman led all scorers with 28 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Sweet was the only other Beaver in double digits as he tallied 16 points and six rebounds. Colt Cunningham drilled two triples for six points and Nick Wilson chipped in with five points and a block. Rufenacht finished with six boards and Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) dished out five assists.
Bluffton will return to action on Saturday, February 11, 2006 when it hosts HCAC foe Anderson in the final home contest of the 2005-06 season. The junior varsity contest will tip-off at 1 p.m. and it will be followed by the varsity game which will start at approximately 3 p.m. The Beavers will honor seniors Eric Sweet, Scott Bergman, Joe Duzan (Dublin/Dublin Scioto) and Darren Clark prior to their final home contest of the year.