MSJ pulls away in second half for 58-44 win over Beavers
December 2, 2009
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University men were competitive through the first
half, down 28-26 to Mount St. Joseph after 20 minutes of action. However, the Bluffton
offense found baskets hard to come by in the second stanza as they only put up 18
points, while the Lions countered with 30 to lead them to the 58-44 victory on Wednesday,
December 2. The loss dropped Bluffton to 0-1 in the Heartland Conference and 0-6 overall,
while Mount St. Joseph stands 1-0 in the HCAC, and bumps up to 5-1 overall.
Sophomore Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) started the Beavers off, hitting a three-pointer after one
minute of play. A minute later the Lions put in their first points with a John Valerius layin. The Beavers quickly added to their lead as Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) added a hoop to put the lead to five after three and half minutes of action.
At the 14:20 mark, the Lions tied it up after a David Lane three-pointer. The game remained close as Rob Luderman (Defiance/Ayersville) tipped one in to knot it at 11 with just over 11 minutes left
in the period. The Beavers went up by five after another Lee shot from distance. During
the next five minutes the Lions rallied for a 9-0 run to put the home team up 20-16
with just six minutes left in the half.
The Beavers slowly worked their way back into the game until they knotted it up on
a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) three with just one minute remaining in the half. The Lions broke
the tie with 40 seconds remaining for a 28-26 lead at the break.
Senior Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) led the Beavers out of the half with a layup, tying the game at
28. Bluffton added a three by Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) to once again take the lead. The Lions responded with a
Kyle McCord tip-in to put them up by three. The teams exchanged the lead until MSJ's Mike Mechler puts in two free throws for a 42-37 advantage with 12:38 left on the clock.
Heckelman added a layup with eight minutes remaining, cutting the deficit to six.
The Beavers continued to struggle from the field, failing to score until there were
two minutes left in the game. The visitors only managed to put in one more bucket
by Chris Singleton (Wapakoneta/Ada), making the final 58-44 in favor of the Lions.
The Beaver offense was led by Lee, as he put in 17 on 3-of-6 shooting from behind
the arc. Next for Bluffton was Eichar with nine points, including five-of-six attempts
from the charity strike. He added a team-high seven boards. The Beavers hit 15-of-44
from the field, including 5-of-17 from the three-point line. The Beavers pulled in
31 boards for the game, five fewer than the home team. Bluffton coughed it up 16 times,
compared to just eight miscues by the Lions.
The Lions received a balanced scoring attack, with three players tallying double figures.
Travis Huffman led the Mount with 13, McCord added 11, and Michael Romes pitched in 10 markers and nine boards.
The Beavers will be back in action this weekend when they travel to Lexington, Kentucky.
Bluffton will meet the Pioneers at 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 5, following the women's
contest at Transylvania.