Bluffton 83, Anderson 73
Beavers improve to 16-7 with 83-73 victory over Ravens on Senior Day
By Molly Burnell, sports information assistant
February 11, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio -The Bluffton University men's basketball team defeated the Anderson University Ravens to end the team's four-game skid on Senior Day, February 11, 2006. With the victory the Beavers improve to 16-7 and 6-6 in the HCAC while Anderson falls to 8-15 and 3-9 in the conference. The 16 wins equals the most victories by a squad since 2000-01 when the Beavers went 16-9 under the direction of Coach Neal. Bluffton needs two more wins to match the most victories in school history set by the 1984-85 squad which finished the year 18-10.
Freshman Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) started the game on fire as he scored Bluffton's first seven points to give the Beavers a 7-5 lead. J.D. Clampitt and Terry Coleman drove and connected on buckets to put Anderson ahead by two points (9-7). Senior Eric Sweet (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) was pushed to the floor but was able to make the off balance basket to tie the game (9-9) with 15:31 to play. Two quick scores by the Ravens put them back on top by four points until freshman Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) connected on an old fashioned 3-point play to cut the Anderson advantage to one. Rufenacht nailed another jumper before Vynsynt Vann and Clampitt drained back-to-back buckets for the Ravens as they took a three point lead. Senior Darren Clark (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) dialed long distance and took an Anderson turnover to the hoop to give Bluffton a two-point advantage 19-17 with 10:26 to play. Wilson sank a free throw and Scott Bergman (Elmore/Woodmore) scored his first points of the game from the charity stripe to tie the game at 22. Nick Vandergrift responded with a jumper to put Anderson back on top before two Clark free throws and two Bergman layups gave Bluffton their largest lead of the afternoon, 28-25, with 3:27 remaining. Ian Lafferty scored five points to push the Ravens ahead by two before Bergman nailed two more free throws to tie the game again (30-30) with less than three minutes to play in the opening stanza. Clampitt found the basket for eight consecutive points, including two triples, as Anderson took a five-point advantage into the locker room, 38-33.
Bergman opened the second half with a 3-pointer as Bluffton held the Ravens scoreless until Coleman drained a shot from the charity stripe to put Anderson back on top by one point, 39-38. Sweet made his presence known and found the hoop to give the Beavers their first lead of the half, 40-39, with 18:22 remaining. Neither side led by more than two points until a Rufenacht foul sent Nick Cochran to the line for two tries. He connected on both and gave Anderson a four-point advantage (47-43). Clark and Lloyd DeLoatch traded baskets before the Ravens' Dustin Simcoe gave Anderson a seven-point cushion with 13:06 to play. A timely Bluffton time out started the Beavers' comeback. The keen shooting of Bergman and Sweet turned the momentum and gave the home team a one-point lead 56-55 midway through the period. The senior duo made the charity stripe their home as Bergman and Sweet connected on eight freebies to help Bluffton open up a six-point advantage with 6:25 remaining. Junior Ricky Reucher (Toledo/Central Catholic) followed with a bucket that extended the Beavers' lead to eight points, 68-60. Anderson tried to make a run at the end of the contest and used fouls to regain possession of the ball but excellent free throw shooting by Clark and junior Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) kept the Ravens out of reach. Bluffton pulled away in the final minute for the 83-73 victory.
Bergman led all scorers with 31 points, including 13-13 from the foul line; he also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out three assists. With his efforts for the afternoon Bergman moves into fourth place in career scoring with 1,575 points. He is just 75 points away from moving into third place all time. Sweet recorded his 11th career double-double with 15 points and 11 boards. Clark recorded 15 points and three assists in his last regular season home contest. Rufenacht took the torch from the seniors and scored 11 points in only his second collegiate start. The freshman also grabbed eight boards in the game. Schwieterman recorded a team-high three steals in the win.
Bluffton will return to action on Wednesday, February 15, 2006 when it makes the short
trek to Defiance to face its long time rival, the Yellow Jackets. The junior varsity
contest will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. and it will be followed by the varsity game which
will start at approximately 7:30 p.m.