Bluffton 66, Mt. St. Joseph 65
Beavers secure berth in HCAC tournament with 66-65 victory over MSJ
By: Jordon Bruner, sports information assistant
February 14, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team remained perfect at home with a 66-65 victory over Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, February 14, 2007. The Beavers 12 wins in Founders this season breaks the school record for most home wins in a season. With the victory, Bluffton improved to 18-6 overall, 10-5 in Heartland Conference action, including a spotless 8-0 HCAC mark at home, and locked up a berth in the conference tournament following the season.
Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's) scored the first five points of the game for Bluffton as the Beavers jumped to an early 5-2 lead.
Five minutes later, Bluffton pushed the lead to 17-10 after Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay) scored on a nice lob pass from Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace).
Mount St. Joseph's freshman phenom Michael Romes pulled the Lions within three on a reverse lay-up with just under seven minutes to play in the opening half.
Bluffton pulled away once again as the Beavers caught fire from downtown. Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian), Anthony, and Overmyer all connected from deep as the Beavers took a 29-19 lead with four minutes to go in the period.
Josiah Stober (Spencerville/Spencerville) knocked down two free throws to give Bluffton a 39-28 lead heading into the break.
Ricky Reucher (Toledo/Central Catholic) found Overmyer on a back-door screen for a lay-up with twelve minutes to go in the game. Overmyer scored again on the next possession and his trey pushed the Bluffton lead to 50-39.
The Beavers then went cold over the next four minutes, not scoring a single point during that stretch. A Robbie Noschang trifecta capped a 12-0 run by the Mount, helping the Lions grab their first lead, 51-50, since the 16-minute mark in the first half.
Two Anthony free throws put Bluffton right back in front, 52-51. The two teams traded baskets for the next six minutes as the game saw ten lead changes during that period.
Three free throws by Tony Blomer and a tip-in by Romes helped the Lions take their biggest lead of the night, 58-54, with six minutes left in the contest.
Bluffton's seniors stepped up over the last five minutes of the game as Anthony and Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) hit back-to-back treys to put the Beavers back in front, 60-58. Anthony connected on both of his free throws to give Bluffton a 66-63 advantage with a minute left.
After two Romes free throws pulled the Lions within one, 66-65, a Bluffton turnover gave the Mount a chance to take the lead with 30 seconds to play, but Reucher stepped in the passing lane and forced a Lion turnover giving Bluffton the ball back.
Mount St. Joseph got the ball back two more times before the end of regulation, but steals by Schwieterman and Kraus sealed the victory for the Beavers.
Anthony scored a game-high 21 points and also pulled down seven boards. Overmyer dropped in 15 points, knocking down 4-of-6 from long-range. Schwieterman, Cunningham, and Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) all contributed with seven points, respectively. Bluffton shot 46 percent from the field for the game, including 11-of-20 from beyond the arc for 55 percent.
The Beavers travel to Hanover for a men's and women's doubleheader on Saturday, February 17, 2007. The regular season finale against the Panthers is scheduled for 3 p.m.