Bluffton celebrates Hall of Fame Day with win over Franklin
January 29, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information intern
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team defeated the Grizzlies
in Heartland Conference action, 88-76, with four players in double figures on Saturday,
January 29, in Founders Hall. The Beavers improved to 14-5 overall and 7-5 in the
HCAC with their Hall of Fame Day victory. The Grizzlies slipped to 7-12 overall and
5-7 in the HCAC.
Less than two minutes into the game, junior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) sparked the Bluffton offense with a layin. T.J. Barton tied the game with his bucket at the 15:56 mark (9-9).
The home team went on an 8-0 run with a couple of hoops by Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) and two freebies from Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf). Three minutes later, the Beavers went up by 13 thanks to
a Farley layin and Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) triple.
Franklin College inched back into the game with a pair of baskets by Zach Merschbrock and a trifecta from Troy Porter, bringing the Grizzlies within seven (40-33) with 1:32 to play in the opening half.
Pope was sent to the charity stripe following his offensive board at the end of the
half and converted both tosses for a 46-36 edge over the Grizzlies.
Bluffton came out the second half with a quick Farley layin courtesy an assist from
Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder). The Grizzlies cut the lead to three (50-47) following a
Gunner Erwin three and a Clay Starett jumper at the 15:56 mark.
The Beaver big men, Pope and Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel), responded with a couple of buckets to put Bluffton ahead, 54-47.
With 12:17 left in the game Hill pulled up from deep and drained a trey, giving Bluffton
its largest lead of the night (64-50).
For the next four minutes, Bluffton kept the advantage in double digits until an Erwin
layin made the score 69-61. Following a Heckelman theft, Hill made a couple of free
throws to give Bluffton a 78-65 lead with 4:08 left in the second half.
Hill cashed in at the charity stripe, drilling 10-of-10 at the line in the final four
minutes, sealing Bluffton's 88-76 win over the youthful Grizzlies. In the process,
the Beavers snapped the string of six straight losses to Franklin.
Leading the way in the scoring column for Bluffton was junior Mychal Hill with 20
points, hitting 4-of-9 from the floor while connecting on 10-of-12 from the line.
Freshman Dustin Kinn scored a career-high 15 markers on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Farley added 14, with nine rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Pope contributed
12 counters and six rebounds.
The Grizzly offense was evenly distributed as they also put four in double digits.
Barton led the team with 17, followed by Erwin with 15 and Bailey Howard with 14. Starrett chipped in with 14 markers.
The Beavers hit 29-of-60 (48.3 percent) and the Grizzlies were a terrific 30-of-48
(62.5 percent) from the field. Bluffton pulled down eight more boards (34-26) and
forced six more turnovers (22-16). Franklin struggled to a 7-of-20 night at the line
(35.0 percent), while Bluffton made good on 24-of-30 attempts (80.0 percent).
The Bluffton University men's basketball team will be back in action on Wednesday,
February 2, when they host Anderson. The contest in Founders Hall is scheduled to
tip at 7:30 p.m.