2002-03 Men's Basketball
bc 77, ac 69
Seniors power Bluffton to 6-6 with 77-69 win at Adrian; Neal gets 141st winBy Tim Stried
January 4, 2003
Seniors Mike Leimeister, Derek DeNero and Marcus Bixler led Bluffton College to a 77-69 win at Adrian College Saturday afternoon as the Beavers evened their record at 6-6 overall with their fourth win in a row.
The win was head coach Guy Neal's 141st at Bluffton, which ties him for second place all-time along side Hall of Famer A.C. Burcky, who collected 141 wins from 1923-47. Hall of Famer Glenn Snyder owns the record with 150 wins from 1968-85.
For the first time this season Bluffton came back from a halftime deficit to collect a win as BC trailed 28-27 at the intermission but shot 64% from the floor in the second half and hit 5-of-6 three-point shots. Bluffton had been 0-4 when trailing at halftime.
Leimeister scored a game-high 29 points and DeNero scored a season-high 20 points and tied a career-high by hitting four 3-pointers in four attempts. He added three assists and Leimeister contributed three steals, while Bixler chipped in seven points and collected a team-high six assists and seven rebounds and had two steals and just one turnover in 35 minutes.
Both teams ended the game with 16 assists, 13 turnovers and seven steals, but Bluffton shot 54.5% from the field, including 54.5% from beyond the arc, while holding Adrian, now 4-6, to a 40.9% shooting clip and a 7-for-25 (28.0%) performance from 3-point range.
Adrian went up by eight points on two occasions early in the game, but Bluffton went on a 13-2 run late in the first half to take a three point lead at 25-22 with 2:55 left before halftime before Adrian came back to claim a one point lead at the intermission.
DeNero's fourth 3-pointer of the game gave Bluffton a 12-point lead at 56-44 with 8:47 left to play, but Adrian would come back to tie the score at 61-61 with 5:00 left and again at 69-69 with 1:57 remaining. A trey from Bixler and a jumper from freshman Simeon Talley, however, gave BC a five point lead with under a minute to go and Adrian missed three 3-pointers in a row to seal their fate.
The win was Bluffton's first at Adrian since Dec. 11, 1993, which snapped a six-game road losing skid to the Bulldogs.
Bluffton will now get back into Heartland Conference play as the Beavers host Franklin College Wed. night at 7:30 p.m.