Mt. St. Joseph 88, Bluffton 85
Lions squeak out 88-85 victory over the Beavers
January 17, 2007
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team fell victim to Mount St. Joseph's hot shooting as the Lions moved into sole possession of first place in the Heartland Conference following their 88-85 home victory over Bluffton on Wednesday, January 17, 2007. With the loss, the Beavers third straight on the road, Bluffton is now tied with Transylvania, Defiance and Hanover for second place in the HCAC. The Beavers are 13-4, 5-3 in the HCAC while MSJ improved to 9-7 with a 6-2 mark in the conference.
Nine points from Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) during a three-minute stretch midway through the second half pushed the Beavers to their largest lead of the second half, 71-65, with 9:27 to play in the game.
Colt Cuningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) followed a Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's) jumper with a trifecta at the 7:27 mark, giving Bluffton a 76-71 lead.
A pair of Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) makes from the charity stripe put Bluffton up 82-78 with four minutes to play before the Lions went on a 6-0 run to take a lead they never relinquished.
Bluffton hit only 3-of-6 free throws down the stretch and a deep triple attempt by Mike Anthony bounced off the rim with time winding down as the Lions escaped with an 88-85 victory over the Beavers.
The Lions scored six of their first seven trips down the floor, building a 15-8 lead less than four minutes into the game as Jeff Perry hit two layups and Michael Romes converted on a pair of stickbacks.
Three consecutive Bluffton triples and a Colt Cunningham bucket allowed the Beavers to take their first lead of the game, 19-17, at the 13:54 mark.
The offenses were on display as another stretch of three triples from Bluffton capped by a Nick Wilson (Payne/Continental) three-pointer put the Beavers on top by three with just under seven minutes to play in the first half.
Tom Heil (Stow/Archbishop Hoban) and Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) got into the fireworks display from long range late in the opening stanza, but a three-point play from Paul Volkerding and two more Volkerding makes from the line helped the Lions to a 48-47 halftime lead.
Back-to-back three-pointers by the Mount pushed the Lions advantage to five points, 60-55, before Josiah Stober (Spencerville/Spencerville) freed himself in the paint and Overmyer drained a trifecta, setting the stage for Taylor's spurt midway through the final half.
Despite shooting 28-of-52 from the field (54 percent), including an outstanding 12-of-25 from beyond the arc (28 percent), the Beavers were upstaged by the Lions ridiculous 31-of-48 night from the field (65 percent). All five Lions' starters, and Volkerding off the bench, finished the night in double digits, led by Michael Romes who finished with 21 points and a team-high six rebounds.
Mike Anthony led the Beavers with 22 points and he handed out three assists. Point guard Eric Schwieterman dropped in 11 points to go along with his game-high six dimes and team-high five boards. Aaron Taylor added a career-high 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 at the stripe.
Bluffton travels to Franklin College on Saturday, January 20, 2007, to face the Grizzlies in the opening game of the second time through the Heartland Conference. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.