2010-11 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 71, Hiram 60
Bluffton dominates first half in 71-60 win at Hiram
November 24, 2010
HIRAM, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team used a dominating performance in the first half to upend Hiram College on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. The Beavers' 3-0 start marks the first time Bluffton has opened a season with three straight wins since 1997-98. The Terriers slipped to 2-2 on the season.
A quick three-pointer by Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) and a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) layin gave the Beavers a 5-2 lead at the 18:27 mark. The Bluffton offense struggled over the next three minutes until Lee drained his second triple of the night for an 8-7 lead with 15:08 to play in the half.
Consecutive hoops by freshman Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee), who hit his first 10 shots of the game, a Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) three-pointer and a Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) chip shot made the score 17-9 with 11:59 on the clock.
The Beavers managed just five free throws over the next five minutes, but the defense held firm as a Pope layup put the visitors up by 10 points (26-16) at the 6:11 mark. He added two more buckets before a Josh Fisher layin from Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) pushed the lead to 12.
A pair of Pope scores sandwiched around a Nick Lee long ball made the score 39-23 with 1:36 to go in the opening period. Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) dropped in two free throws before Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) ended the half with a jumper for a 43-25 advantage at the break.
Both teams struggled coming out of the locker room as Bluffton led by 18 points (48-30) after six minutes of period two. Will Pope made the score 50-35 with his second basket in less than a minute. A Hill trifecta at the 11:18 mark kept Bluffton's lead at 16 points (53-37).
A 10-2 run by the home team pulled Hiram within eight, 55-47, but Pope got to the rack with 6:14 to play, slowing the Terriers. Four straight counters by Farley and five from Fisher allowed Bluffton to put the game on ice as the Beavers led 66-49 with just over three minutes left.
The home team cut the deficit to nine but Bluffton finished with four makes at the line during the final 1:04 to cap the 71-60 victory over the Terriers.
Will Pope, who posted his first collegiate double-double, led the Beavers with 22 points and 12 boards. He was a phenomenal 11-of-13 from the field after hitting his first 10 shots. Junior guards Nick Lee and Mychal Hill joined Pope in double figures with 11 points apiece. Fisher added nine markers while Farley chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds. Hill and Dustin Kinn handed out five and four dimes, respectively. Lee was 3-of-4 from outside the arc.
Bluffton finished the game 24-of-47 from the field (51.1 percent) after scorching the nets with 16-of-25 shooting in the opening half (64 percent). The Beavers had a slim 38-36 edge on the boards, but they turned it over two more times than the home team (17-15). The visitors dished out 18 assists and went 18-of-27 (66.7 percent) at the line.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, November 27, when they welcome Kalamazoo College. The contest in Founders Hall is slated for 3 p.m.