2001-02 Men's Basketball
bc vs. hc
Bluffton to host HCAC pre-season favorite Hanover SaturdayNovember 29, 2001
Hanover leads the all-time series 38-11. Bluffton won both meetings last season, however, to break a 15-game winning streak by the Panthers over BC that dated back to 1987.
Bluffton is led by 13th-year head coach Guy Neal, who ranks fourth on the BC all-time wins list with 127 victories. Hanover is led by Dr. Michael Beitzel, who is also in his 13th season at Hanover.
Bluffton is 2-2 after suffering their first HCAC loss of the season on Wednesday night at Manchester. BC won two straight games after dropping their season opener. Hanover, meanwhile, is a perfect 6-0 on the season.
After seeing Hanover win the previous 15 games in this series, Bluffton won both meetings last season, including an 82-77 win here in Founders Hall on January 13. The loss was Hanover's first league defeat of the season as the Beavers held the Panthers to just 11 points over the final 10:30 of the game.
On February 13 Bluffton's Scott Remaklus banked in an off-balance three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left to play to topple the Panthers 73-72 in Indiana.
Bluffton is coming off an 83-53 loss at Manchester Wednesday night. Back-to-back layups by BC sophomore Aaron Markley got the Beavers within three points at 13-10 with 14:06 remaining in the first half, but Bluffton didn't score again until senior Rod Overmyer's jumper with 4:05 left before halftime with Manchester up 35-12. Junior Derek DeNero scored a career-high 17 points to be the only player in double-figures for the Beavers.
Hanover is coming off a 66-64 win at Indiana-Southeast on Tuesday night. The Panthers shot 52% (13-25) in the second half to hold off Southeast, who shot 63% to come back from a 33-21 halftime deficit.
Bluffton returns four letterwinners this season from last year's 16-9 squad, which finished one game back of the Heartland Conference regular season title. Hanover returns all five starters (four of which received All-HCAC honors) from last season's squad, which finished 19-7 and won a share of the HCAC regular season title.
Bluffton is led by a pair of juniors in Mike Leimeister (14.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg) and Derek DeNero (13.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) along with returning All-HCAC senior Rod Overmyer (11.2 ppg, 4.8 ppg).
Hanover senior Joe Neuman was a first team All-HCAC selection this season and leads the Panthers with 14.8 points per game and 8.2 rebounds per game. All five Hanover starters are seniors, three others of which were named honorable mention All-HCAC last season, including Matt Brewer (4.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg), Jess Denger (11.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg) and Derrick Clevenger (8.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
Hanover and Bluffton have the top two defenses in the HCAC this season. Hanover ranks first, giving up just 62.0 points per game and holding opponents to a 40.5% shooting clip from the floor, while Bluffton ranks second, giving up 67.0 points per game and allowing opponents to hit 41.0% of their shots. Hanover also leads the league in scoring margin (+11.0), while Bluffton ranks third in rebounding margin (+4.8).
Close games and daylight
Except for a 34-point win over Maryville on November 17, Hanover has won their other five games this season by an average margin of 6.4 points per game. That, coupled with the fact that the last five games between these two teams in Founders Hall have been decided by an average of 4.0 points, should produce another exciting game in this series. In addition, Bluffton is 2-0 in daytime games this season, but 0-2 after sundown.
Around the HCAC
Two other league games are on the HCAC schedule Saturday as Anderson hosts Mount St. Joseph and Franklin hosts Defiance. In non-league action, Manchester travels to Thomas More.