fc 72, bc 59
Eric Sweet leads Beavers with 16 points and 8 rebounds
By Ben Risinger, SID
February 24, 2004
FRANKLIN, IND. - The Bluffton College men's basketball team (10-16, 4-10 HCAC) were defeated by the Franklin Grizzlies (15-11) 72-59 on Tuesday night in the first round of the Heartland Conference tournament. The loss concluded the Beavers 2003-04 season.
The Beavers got off to a very slow start as Franklin went up 21-6 at the 10 minute mark in the first half. The Grizzlies led by as many as 16 points for most of the period. With 3:31 left before halftime Bluffton found themselves down, 34-16. Over the final three minutes the Beavers would go on a 10-0 run to tighten Franklin's lead. Marching into the locker room, Bluffton was down by eight points, 34-26. The Beaver's leading scorer, Brad Boyles, was limited to only four points off of 4-for-4 shooting from the free throw line for the half.
Bluffton carried their late first half momentum into the second period as they pulled within five points, 40-35 with 14:03 left in the game. At 6:30 Franklin used Bluffton turnovers and fouls to pull away once more, 55-45. Bluffton could never recover from the deficit as they lost 72-59.
"Tonight's game has been typical of our last five to six games. We have been good defensively but very inconsistent offensively," head coach Guy Neal said. "We just have to be more consistent on the offensive side."
Sophomore Eric Sweet (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) led the Beavers with 16 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Scott Bergman (Elmore/Woodmore) was the only other Beaver in double figures with 15 points. Senior Brad Boyles (Berne, Ind./South Adams) threw in six points, five rebounds and two steals in his final collegiate contest.
Alan Davidson led Franklin with 15 points. Justin Castelli pitched in 14 points for the Grizzlies.
The Beavers shot 44 percent for the game compared to the Grizzlies 43 percent. Both teams pulled down 30 rebounds on the contest.