2002-03 Men's Basketball
bc 88, ozarks 90
Bluffton falls to Ozarks in season opener at North CentralBy Tim Stried, SID
November 22, 2002
The University of the Ozarks (Arkansas) scored the final five points of the game in the last 30 seconds to hand Bluffton College a 90-88 loss Friday night in the opening game of the North Central College Tip-off Tournament in Naperville, Illinois.
Bluffton led 88-85 with 42 seconds left to play after two free throws by Marcus Bixler, but Ozarks hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to take the lead and added a free throw with 10 seconds left to claim the 2-point win.
The game was highlighted by 35 ties or lead changes as neither team was able to build a double-digit lead at any point in the game.
Leimeister scored 20 of Bluffton's first 26 points in the game and finished the first half with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting. He was held to an 0-for-2 performance in the second half, however, before fouling out, along with Derek DeNero and Eric Sweet.
Bluffton led by eight points with 11:22 left in the first half, which would be the Beavers biggest lead of the night. At that point, however, Ozarks went on a 24-8 run to take a 32-24 lead with 6:52 left before halftime. Bluffton scored the last seven points of the first half to tie the score at 47-47 at the intermission.
Leimeister finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Junior Brad Boyles scored a career-high 19 points, while Bixler scored a career-high 16 points. DeNero ended the game with 16 points, as well.
Bluffton shot extremely well in the game (60% from the field), but was out-rebounded 45-27 by Ozarks, who grabbed 26 offensive rebounds to make up for a 14-for-30 performance at the free throw line.