Manchester 67, Bluffton 58
Beavers fall to 11-10 with 67-58 loss at Manchester
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
February 6, 2008
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball dropped its fifth straight Heartland Conference contest at Manchester College on Wednesday, February 6, 2008. The Beavers managed a late surge, but they fell short in the 67-58 loss to the Spartans. Bluffton's record now stands at 11-10 overall, and 5-7 in the HCAC. Manchester improved to 4-16 overall and 2-9 in the HCAC.
After a Tyler Henn bucket at the 17:56 mark, senior P.J Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) finally got the Beavers on the scoreboard with a three-pointer almost four minutes into the game. The Spartans regained the lead with a three-point play by Jeff Grabowski that made the score 5-3 in favor of Manchester with 16:04 left in the first half.
A Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) layup pulled Bluffton even with Manchester, 7-7. Manchester built a seven-point lead with back-to-back Jake Koziel layups and a Nathan Ferch jumper which made the score 16-9 with 8:48 left.
An Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp Local) layup on Bluffton's next possession cut the Manchester lead to five, 16-11. A Jamaal Wade triple on the Spartans' ensuing possession made the score 19-11.
With 3:37 left in the first half, Aaron Taylor drained his lone three-pointer of the night, capping a 7-0 Bluffton run which made it a one-point game. Manchester's Tyler Henn capitalized on a pair of free throws to help Manchester open up a 27-21 lead with just under a minute left in the first half.
Sophomore Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) netted the final four points of the half, going a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line as the Beavers trimmed the deficit to 27-25 at the half.
Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) knotted the game at 27 on a pair of made free throws following a technical foul called on Manchester's bench. Manchester wasted little time reclaiming the lead, 34-27, as the Spartans rolled off seven consecutive points, including a Jamaal Wade trifecta.
Nick Wilson hit from in close at the 12:08 mark to make the score 40-35 in favor of the home team. A three-ball by Mitch Schaefer pushed the lead back to nine points, 45-36. The Beavers trailed by 11 points when Schaefer got the hoop and harm for a 53-42 lead with just over five minutes left in the game.
A late Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) three-pointer started Bluffton's last surge for the lead. It brought Bluffton to within seven, 55-48, and when Aaron Taylor hit a layup with 2:30 left, it made the score 57-50.
P.J Juenger's layin with 1:38 left made the score 57-52. A pair of Tyler Henn free throws with 33 ticks remaining put the Spartans up for good, 65-56. Manchester held on for the 67-58 victory over the Beavers, picking up the Spartans second win in conference play.
The Beavers were led in scoring by Nick Wilson who dropped in 13 points on 5-6 shooting, and Nate Overmeyer who finished with 11 points. Wilson also paced the Beavers with six rebounds. Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore) had all four of Bluffton's steals to go along with his five boards.
As a team, Bluffton shot 21-for-51 from the field (41.2 percent), compared to the Spartans' 20-of-42 (47.6 percent). Both teams made five three-pointers, but Bluffton attempted 22 shots from long range while Manchester required only seven attempts (71.4 percent). The Spartans did their damage at the foul line, making 22-of-23 freebies (95.7 percent). Bluffton held a commanding 32-21 edge on the boards and both teams committed 12 miscues.
Jamaal Wade, Jake Koziel and Tyler Henn led Manchester in scoring with 12 points each. Nathan Ferch ripped down a game-high seven rebounds and Wade picked up five steals.
The Beavers will try to get back in the win column on Saturday, February 9, 2008, when they welcome Transylvania for the first of two games against the Pioneers in a span of two weeks. The Alumni Day contest is slated to tip at 3 p.m. in Founders Hall.