Bluffton 82, Heidelberg 61
Bluffton pulls away in second half for 82-61 win over Heidelberg
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
November 29, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team knocked off a previously-unbeaten Heidelberg College squad 82-61 on Saturday, November 29, 2008. With the victory, the Beavers upped their record to 4-1 while Heidelberg dropped to 3-1.
Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) got the Beavers on the scoreboard first when he drove the lane and converted his layup. Following an Aaron Taylor (Antwerp) rebound, Eichar connected with Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) for two points. A layup by Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) increased the Bluffton lead to five points before Eichar's trey at the 14:12 mark made the score 9-4.
A conventional three-point play by freshman Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) and a deep triple from Nick Wilson (Continental) increased the Beavers' lead to nine points. With less than nine minutes left in the first stanza, Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) added three the old-fashioned way following a Clayton Leimeister (Lima/Temple Christian) trifecta to push the lead to 11 points. A Wilson layup and two freebies from Eichar allowed the Beavers to take a 37-30 lead into the break.
Starting the second half, Taylor drove to the bucket for a deuce. Two points from Rufenacht and a Cunningham basket from behind the arc increased the Bluffton lead to 11 points. With less than 10 minutes to play, Taylor came up with a steal and he hit Rufenacht for a quick score. The next Bluffton possession resulted in an Eichar jumper, giving Bluffton a commanding 57-41 lead.
At the 5:18 minute mark, Wilson drained a three-ball and Eichar added two more points for the Beavers 30 seconds later. With less than four minutes remaining on the clock, Taylor cashed in thanks to a nice dish from Eichar. Cam Saylor (Belle Center/Benjamin Logan) ended the second half blitz with a triple from the left wing as the Beavers knocked off the Student Princes by a final tally of 82-61.
Josh Eichar paced the Beavers with 16 points, eight rebounds and four dimes. Colt Cunningham added 14 points. Aaron Taylor came up huge with 12 points, five steals, four boards, and three assists. Nick Wilson tallied 11 points, two rebounds and an assist. Brent Farley and Justin Rufenacht pulled down five and four boards, respectively, while both Rufenacht and Josiah Stober (Spencerville) swatted away two Heidelberg offerings.
The Student Princes were led by Travis Kinn with 18 points, eight rebounds and a steal. Jim Smalley chipped in 12 points, six boards, four steals and two assists. Teammate Josh Calver contributed 10 points, three assists and a rebound in the loss.
Bluffton hit 24-of-52 (46.2 percent) from the field, compared to only 22-of-57 (38.6 percent) for Heidelberg. Bluffton shot 27-of-33 (81.8 percent) from the charity stripe while Heidelberg hit 13-of-15 (86.7 percent). The home team committed just 11 turnovers, but the Beavers forced the 'Berg into 18 miscues.
The Bluffton men return to action on Wednesday, December 3, when the Beavers host rival Manchester College in the first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest of the 2008-09 season. The tip is slated for 7:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.