2011-12 Men's Basketball
Anderson 70, Bluffton 67
Anderson hits 55 percent from the field in 70-67 win at Bluffton
February 4, 2012
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team came up just short, 70-67, to Anderson University on Saturday, Feb. 4. It proved to be an exciting game that went right down to the final buzzer when Nick Lee's (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) last second three-point attempt kissed the glass and then bounced out of bounds, depriving the fans of an extra five minutes. Bluffton fell to 14-7 overall and 8-6 in the HCAC, while Anderson improved to 12-9 overall and 8-6 in the conference.
The Beavers took an early 5-2 lead in the first three minutes. Lee opened with a three from fellow senior Mychal Hill (London/Jon. Alder). Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) followed up Lee's triple with a layup. The Ravens quickly turned the game around, going ahead by five at the 15:16 mark.
Sophomore's Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) and Will Pope (Somerville/ Preble Shawnee) cut Anderson's lead to one. Kinn hit a chip shot with the assist coming from Steve Swick (Lima/Elida). Pope followed with a pair of freebies.
Two minutes later the Ravens were back up by seven with less than 12 minutes left in the half. Junior Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) knocked down a three-pointer with the assist coming from Hill before senior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) converted two foul shots to cut the Ravens' lead down to two.
Over the next nine minutes, the Ravens took control of the game with a 24-9 scoring splurge which extended their lead to 17 points. With 21 seconds left in the first half, Kinn collected his own miss and put it back up and in, cutting the deficit to 15 (40-25) at the break.
The Beavers came out ready to fight in the second half and had Anderson's lead down to five points by the 14:12 mark. Lee opened the scoring in the second half with a layup. Two minutes later, Fisher buried a three-ball to cut the lead to 10. Two Lee foul shots and an old-fashioned three-point play by Pope made the score 44-39 with 14:12 on the clock.
At the 9:39 mark, Heckelman dialed long distance, making it a one-point game. Anderson and Bluffton went toe-to-toe for the next three minutes. Anderson pulled ahead by three twice only to have their lead cut to one by Kinn both times.
Anderson opened a four-point cushion (63-59) with 4:43 left, but the Beavers came back and tied the game following two free throws by Heckelman. Anderson pulled ahead by two, but Heckelman responded with another driving layup. Anderson quickly pulled ahead by four but once again Heckelman's deuce cut their lead to only two with 1:49 left in the game.
An Andrew Bowman charity toss with 13 ticks remaining made it a three-point lead for the visitors. Bluffton had a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer from Lee but it hit the glass and bounced out of bounds as the buzzer sounded.
Kinn led the way offensively for the Beavers with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field. Fisher and Heckelman dropped in 14 and 13 points, respectively. Pope grabbed a team-high eight boards, while Farley collected six caroms. Lee chipped in with seven markers and four assists.
Anderson knocked down 26-of-47 from the field (55.3 percent), compared to 22-of-53 (41.5 percent) for the home team. Bluffton was a blistering 18-of-20 (90.0 percent) at the stripe, while Franklin went 15-for-18 (83.3 percent). The Ravens pulled down one more rebound (27-26) than the Beavers. Both teams tallied 34 points in the paint, while Bluffton's bench outscored Anderson 31-2.
The Beavers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 8, when they welcome Manchester College for a crucial Heartland Conference matchup. The contest in Founders Hall is slated for 7:30 PM and it will also mark the second annual beheading ceremony for Bluffton mascot J. Denny Beaver.