Bluffton vs. Mount St. JosephWednesday, January 31, 2001
BC Game Day Notes
In their first home game in 18 days, the Bluffton College men's basketball team hosts the College of Mount St. Joseph Lions Wednesday night in a battle of two teams tied for second place in the Heartland Conference. Joining these two teams in the league's runner-up spot are Hanover and Manchester, both teams that Bluffton has beat this season but that Mount St. Joseph lost to. Should Hanover win Wednesday at Defiance, the winner of this game will move into a tie for first place in the HCAC, which has already more than lived up to its billing as one of the country's top Division III conferences from top to bottom in men's basketball.
Bluffton is aiming to avenge an 84-66 loss at Mount St. Joseph on January 3 in both schools' first HCAC game of the season. The Mount held BC to a 32.8% shooting clip from the field in that game and outrebounded the Beavers 46-31 as BC took on their first league opponent without leading scorer Jeremy Roberts, who continues to undergo knee rehabilitation. In January, however, Bluffton ran off four straight HCAC wins before being dealt a 104-85 setback at HCAC leader Defiance on Saturday. Mount St. Joseph is coming off a 65-63 win at home over Manchester on Saturday that saw Jared Franz sink an off-balance 15-footer with less than two seconds remaining to provide the winning basket. The Lions are 2-4 on the road this season and 0-2 in the HCAC away from their home gym. The Mount's last five HCAC contests have been decided by an average of just 5.4 points per game, with the Lions coming out on top in three of them.
Last season Mount St. Joseph led the HCAC in scoring offense, averaging 86.2 points per game, but so far this season the Lions rank last in the league in scoring (73.0 ppg) and free throw percentage (68.8%). However, because they are holding their opponents to under 69 points per game, which ranks 3rd in the league, the Lions are having another successful season behind three returning All-HCAC players. Leading that trio is Franz, who is 5th in the league in scoring (14.0 ppg) and 3rd in field goal shooting (57.4%). The other two returning all-league selections are guards Jarrett Young and Joe Toney. Young leads the HCAC in steals (2.6 spg), while Toney is the Lions' main 3-point threat (31 treys).
Bluffton leads the Heartland Conference in 3-point field goals made (140) and their 3-point shooting percentage (37.5%) ranks third. Leading that group of sharp shooters is junior Rod Overmyer, who ranks 4th in the league in scoring (14.6 ppg) and free throw percentage (85.2%) and ranks third in 3-point shooting percentage (43.3%). He is averaging 19.2 points over the last five games. Travis Elsass has moved up to 6th in the league in scoring (13.8 ppg), while Ben Coole is 12th in scoring (12.4 ppg) and 3rd in blocked shots (1.3 bpg). Chad Cramer is 3rd in the HCAC in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and 2nd in offensive boards (2.4 orpg). Chris Sheldon is 4th in assists (3.3 apg), while Scott Remaklus is 4th in steals (1.7 spg) and is eight 3-pointers shy of setting the BC record for treys made in a season by a freshman, set by Dave Sheldon '98 during the 1994-95 season when he connected on 41 shots from downtown.
Prior to Wednesday's game, Bluffton head football coach Carlin Carpenter will be honored with several memento's from the Beavers' 2000 Heartland Conference co-championship season, including his HCAC Co-Coach of the Year trophy, commemorative game jersey signed by the team, and the game ball from BC's victory over Hiram on September 9 which was Carpenter's 89th at BC, marking a new school record.
In addition to the Hanover at Defiance contest Wednesday night, Manchester travels to Franklin and Thomas More is at Anderson.