Bluffton 73, Kalamazoo 48
Bluffton swats Hornets for third consecutive victory, 73-48
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
November 26, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team dominated Kalamazoo College as the Beavers jumped to an early lead and never looked back on Wednesday, November 26, 2008. With the Beavers third straight win Bluffton improved to 3-1, while Kalamazoo dropped to 2-2. For the second straight night, Bluffton used a stifling defense to handle an MIAA school in Founders Hall.
Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) jump started the Bluffton offense with two layups in the first 1:40 of the contest. A feed from Josiah Stober (Spencerville) resulted in two points by Josh Eichar (North Baltimore). The Beavers' offense stayed hot during the first five minutes of play with treys from freshman Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) and junior Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) as the Beavers opened up a 14-2 lead over the Hornets.
At the 12:40 mark, Nick Wilson (Continental) added a putback for Bluffton. With less than ten minutes remaining in the first stanza, freshman Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) capitalized on a three-point play the old-fashioned way, increasing the lead to 24 points (28-4). Aaron Taylor (Antwerp) got to the hoop for the Beavers and three minutes later, Lee connected with Pothast for two more points.
Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) hit back-to-back treys, increasing the lead to 28 points with just under two minutes to play in the half. Junior Tyler Braidic (Pandora-Gilboa) drained a trifecta at the end of the first stanza as Bluffton went to the break with a commanding 43-15 lead.
Rufenacht once again sparked the Bluffton offense with a layup to start period two. Eichar sank the first triple of the second half thanks to an assist from Taylor. Wilson added five points, including a layup and a three-point basket before Clayton Leimeister (Lima/Temple Christian) hit the jumper for a 59-26 lead at the 12:14 minute mark.
A Chris Singleton (Wapakoneta/Ada) trey from the left wing upped the score to 62-29. With just seven minutes left in the contest, Taylor hit from behind the arc. A nice drive down the left side of the key resulted in a conventional three-point play for Cunningham and a Rufenacht layup pumped the Beavers' lead back up to 25 points (70-45) with 4:15 to play. A Singleton layup ended the Bluffton scoring as the Beavers knocked off Kalamazoo by a 73-48 count.
Justin Rufenacht led the Beavers with 12 points on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night. He also finished with three rebounds and swatted away one Hornet attempt. Colt Cunningham generated 11 points, as well as three boards, two assists, one block and one steal. Nick Wilson added nine points, three rebounds and one steal for the Beavers. Josiah Stober ripped down a team-high seven boards and Josh Eicher picked up two steals in the contest. Nick Lee was 2-for-2 from distance and he dished out a pair of assists while playing 20 minutes off the bench.
Nate Orozco and Isaiah Novak paced the Hornets with 10 points and three assists each, while teammate Ben Jerome picked up three steals in the loss.
Bluffton hit 28-of-56 (50 percent) from the field, compared to only 16-of-47 (34 percent) for Kalamazoo. The Beavers were 7-of-11 (63.6 percent) at the free-throw line while the Hornets knocked down 9-of-10 (90 percent). Bluffton sank three more treys than Kalamazoo, 10-7. The Hornets committed 16 turnovers, five more miscues than the home team. Eight Beavers buried triples in Bluffton's 73-48 runaway victory over Kalamazoo. Bluffton cleaned the glass to the tune of a 40-22 rebounding advantage.
The Bluffton men return to action on Saturday, November 29, when the Beavers host Heidelberg College. The contest is slated to start at 3 p.m. in Founders Hall.