2002-03 Men's Basketball
bc 87, au 89
Bluffton nearly gets first HCAC win but Anderson prevails 89-87 despite 20 points from Bixler
By Tim Stried
January 11, 2003
Bluffton College out-rebounded Anderson University 39-33 and shot over 14 percentage points better from the field, but the Beavers came up just a bit short in their bid for their first Heartland College Athletic Conference win of the season Saturday afternoon, falling 89-87 in Anderson, Indiana.
A Bluffton win would have handed Anderson their first HCAC loss of the season, but the Ravens pulled out the two-point win to improve to 11-3 overall and 4-0 in the HCAC. Bluffton falls to 6-8 overall and 0-5 in the HCAC.
Senior Marcus Bixler led all scorers with a career-high 20 points and tied a career-high with three 3-pointers. He dished out a season-high nine assists, while senior Derek DeNero added 17 points as both players tied for game-high rebounding honors with seven. Junior Brad Boyles scored 12 points in the second half to end the game with 16.
Senior Mike Leimeister, playing at less than 100% due to an ankle injury, was held 10 points under his season average as he finished with 14 points.
Bluffton connected on an impressive 9-of-18 three-pointers in the game, while Anderson was just 8-of-32 from trey land, but the Ravens drilled three 3-pointers in a row during a one-minute span midway through the second half to stay in the game at a juncture when Bluffton made 10-of-13 shots to take a five-point lead. Anderson's 32 3-point attempts were the most that BC has faced this season.
Bluffton scored the first eight points of the game but Anderson came back to take a 22-19 lead with 11:32 left before halftime. The Ravens led by as many as seven points late in the first halftime but led by just one point at the intermission, 43-42. Bluffton took their biggest lead of the game at 60-55 with 11:40 left to play but a 13-5 Anderson run at that point gave the lead back to the Ravens at 68-55 with 9:16 remaining.
Anderson would hold that lead until Leimeister hit a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left to tie the score at 86-86. BC had just one field goal attempt the rest of the way, however, and AU connected on 3-of-4 foul shots to take the win.
Bluffton's point total of 87 was its highest in an HCAC game this season, but Anderson scored 23 points off 20 Bluffton turnovers, while the Ravens committed just nine turnovers themselves as Bluffton collected a season-low two steals.
Bluffton will travel to Thomas More College Wednesday night for a non-league contest against the Saints at 7:30 p.m. WDOH 107.1 FM will bring the live broadcast.