BC knocks off Defiance 97-93 in HCAC thrillerJanuary 27, 2003
By Tim Stried
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Jan. 30), The Witmarsum (Jan. 31), Alumni e-newsletter (Jan. 28), but you read it here first.
For the second year in a row the Bluffton College men's basketball team knocked off Defiance College in Founders Hall as senior Mike Leimeister's 42-point effort led the Beavers to a 97-93 win last Wed. night in front of a season-high 1,193 fans.
After Saturday's 74-59 loss to Hanover, Bluffton now sees their record stand at 8-10 overall and 2-6 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The Beavers will play their next two games on the road at Manchester Jan. 29 and at Mount St. Joseph Feb. 1.
Leimeister, last week's HCAC player-of-the-week, continues to lead the league in scoring at 23.5 points per game, which ranks seventh in the country. His 42-point effort against Defiance was the sixth-highest single-game scoring effort in the country so far this season and was four points shy of the school-record 46 points set by Jamie Yount against Goshen in 1995.
Jan. 22: BC 97, Defiance 93
Leimeister, who scored 30, 34 and 36 points in three games against Defiance last season, continued to top his previous performance against the Yellow Jackets, this time scoring a career-high 42 points. He hit 20-of-22 free throws in the game to set a new school and HCAC record for freebies made in a game and his 10 rebounds gave him his seventh career double-double. He also added a career-high four assists.
Defiance shot 61.7% from the field but Bluffton converted on 30-of-36 free throws and out-rebounded Defiance 34-26 to win their second game in a row. When playing in Founders Hall, Bluffton has now defeated Defiance in five of the last eight meetings between these two schools.
Bluffton led for nearly all of the first half and took a 46-41 lead at halftime, but Defiance opened the second half with a 14-3 run to go up by six points with 17:04 remaining. It would be their biggest lead, however, as Bluffton battled back to regain the lead for good with 11:13 to play.
Bluffton led by 13 points at 93-80 with 2:31 remaining, but Defiance out-scored the Beavers 13-4 to end the game, however it wasn't enough as the Beavers set a new season-high in scoring. Bluffton's 30 made free throws was a season-high, as was their .833 free throw percentage.
In addition to Leimeister's 42-point effort, three other BC players scored in double-figures, led by 18 from junior Brad Boyles, 13 from senior Derek DeNero and a career-high 11 points from freshman Simeon Talley.
Jan. 25: BC 59, Hanover 74
Bluffton led for the entire first half, but Hanover opened the second half with a 29-7 run and went on to take a 74-59 win over the Beavers in Founders Hall Saturday.
Bluffton led by as many as 11 points in the first half but was held to a 32.1% shooting effort in the second half as Hanover improves to 17-1 overall and 7-1 in the HCAC. Bluffton sees their two-game HCAC win streak halted, while Hanover wins its sixth game in a row.
Hanover, the number one ranked defense in the HCAC, held Leimeister to 12 points, which was half of his normal output. Freshman Eric Sweet scored a career-high 14 points to notch team-high honors and freshman Scott Bergman chipped in eight.