Capital 70, Bluffton 63
Bluffton falls to OAC favorite Capital at Case Reserve, 70-63
By: Shannon Ramer, sports information assistant
November 22, 2008
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team came up just short on the road, losing to pre-season Ohio Athletic Conference favorite Capital University in the first game of the Case Reserve Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Nov. 21, 2008.
The Crusaders began the game with a layup by Nate Stahl. Bluffton senior Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) put the Beavers on the board with a shot beyond the arc, thanks to an assist from senior Josiah Stober (Spencerville). Stahl hit another jump shot, but Stober answered from downtown to put the Beavers up 6-4.
Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) made a jumper with 17:02 remaining on the clock and senior Aaron Taylor (Antwerp) hit two free throws, putting the Beavers up by four.
A steal followed by a Jake Fanning layin allowed the Crusaders to take the lead 19-18 with 11:32 to play in the half.
Taylor and Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisvile) pulled the Beavers back into the game with two consecutive layups. Taylor converted another layup, giving the Beavers their largest lead of the night, 25-20, with less than eight minutes to play in the half.
Captial's Nate Stahl's bucket cut into the gap with 7:37 remaining on the clock. Following two turnovers by the Beavers, Jamie Yoder buried a jumper that put Capital back on top and the Crusaders continued their assault, taking a 37-31 lead at the break.
Cunningham sank two free throws from the line to begin the second half and Stober came up with a steal but the Beavers had several turnovers that hurt them.
Ryan Wood drilled a shot from beyond the arc with 11:39 remaining on the clock, helping Capital to its largest lead of night at 57-40.
Senior Aaron Taylor made a layup with 8:11 remaining. After having missed shots from both teams, Taylor nailed another jump shot followed by a foul shot which trimmed the gap to five points.
Eichar and Cunningham both made layups with under five minutes on the clock to make it a one-point game, 61-60. That was the closest the Beavers got as the Crusaders hit seven free throws down the stretch to open the season with a 70-63 win over Bluffton.
The Beavers were led in scoring by Colt Cunningham's 15 points. Aaron Taylor also put 13 points on the scoreboard. None of the other Beavers could manage to get into double digits. Bluffton was 24-50 for 48 percent from the field while Capital hit 23-46 (50 percent). Josh Eichar picked up where he left off last year and led Bluffton with five rebounds, four assists and three steals. Ryan Wood scored 18 points to pace the Crusaders.
The Beavers return to action Saturday, November 22, when they meet up with host Case Reserve in the consolation finals of the 2008 Tip-Off Tournament. The game is slated to start at 5 p.m.