Verdict is in: BC comeback at Franklin sets new school record

January 25, 2001
After a week of research, it can be said that Bluffton's 99-96 win in overtime at Franklin College on January 17 has set a new BC men's basketball record as the greatest comeback in BC hoops history. The Beavers overcame a 28-point deficit with just 11:22 left in regulation to pull out a stunning victory, which has helped catapult the squad into one of the league's top teams this season.

"I think that it reinforces the old cliche that the game is never over until it's over," said BC head coach Guy Neal. "The message that it sent to our guys is that if they are behind in the second half they can chip away and work themselves back into the game."

That chipping away came in mighty big chunks, though, as Bluffton shot 60% from the floor in the second half to stun the hometown Franklin crowd, as well as the BC faithful in attendance and those listening to the call on WDOH 107.1 FM. BC senior Chris Sheldon hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds to play in regulation to send the game to overtime, then BC outscored the Franklin 10-7 in the extra session as the Beavers won their third straight Heartland Conference game and first ever HCAC contest away from Founders Hall.

Records in the BC sports information office along with the assistance of longtime Bluffton sports information director Ron Geiser helped determine that the comeback was, in fact, a new school record.

"Any time you can do something out of the ordinary it sheds an exciting light on the program," said Neal, who is in his 12th year as the BC cage mentor.

The first half belonged to Bluffton senior Ben Coole, who scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes. Then the comeback and overtime featured the sharp shooting of junior Rod Overmyer, who scored 21 points in an 11 minute span in leading BC on a 28-8 run that included buckets from Travis Elsass, Chad Cramer, Marcus Bixler and Sheldon, who hit a layup with 17 seconds to play to pull BC to within two points at 88-86. Franklin connected on a free throw with 12 seconds left to go up by three, but Sheldon's trey with seven ticks left sent the game into overtime.

"You can talk about it," said Neal, "but it's hard until you actually do it."

Since then, BC has pulled out victories at Thomas More and at Anderson to improve to 13-4 overall and 4-2 in the HCAC.