Bluffton 96, Carnegie Mellon 83
By Molly Burnell, sports information assistant
January 2, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team (10-1) knocked off the previously undefeated #23 Carnegie Mellon Tartans 96-83 in Founder's Hall on Monday, January 2, 2006. The Tartans were coming off a monumental 51-46 win over perennial Division I power Princeton University on December 28, 2005. With their eighth straight victory, the 2005-06 Bluffton squad set a new team record for consecutive wins eclipsing the previous mark of seven set in 1934-35 and tied in 2000-01.
The Tartans started off with a Marques Johnson free throw and a pair of Clayton Barlow-Wilcox layups to take an early 5-3 lead over Bluffton. Following a stretch of tight team defense, junior Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) connected on a layup to give the Beavers a two point advantage (7-5) at the 16:23 mark. Ball control and perimeter pressure by Bluffton, along with missed shots by both teams, kept the score within one point until a Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) jumper increased the Beaver lead to three points midway through the first half. Senior Scott Bergman (Elmore/Woodmore) drained four treys during a five-minute span and junior Ricky Reucher (Toledo/Central Catholic) nailed a triple at the four-minute mark to give Bluffton a six-point advantage. Carnegie Mellon countered with six points from Barlow-Wilcox to cut the Beaver lead to four points. Following an A. J. Straub trifecta, Dave Patch (Minster/Minster) nailed a jumper sending Bluffton to the locker room with a three-point advantage, 45-42.
Free throws by Anthony, Bergman and Schwieterman and a triple by Patch helped the Beavers open up a ten-point lead (62-52) with just over 14 minutes left in the game. The Tartans and Beavers traded baskets until a Nate Maurer layup cut the Bluffton lead to seven points with less than ten minutes to play in the second stanza. Carnegie Mellon's Barlow-Wilcox, who finished with a game-high 27 points, continued his onslaught as he hit a jumper to cut the Beaver advantage to four points with seven minutes left in the contest. Key free throw shooting and tight defense allowed Bluffton to open the gap to ten points at the four minute mark. Senior post Eric Sweet (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) nailed two shots from the charity stripe to give the Beavers an 11-point cushion with less than two minutes to play. Schwieterman and Cunningham connected on foul shots down the stretch to seal the win for Bluffton by a final score of 96-83.
Bergman led the Beavers with 26 points, 18 of those coming off of three-pointers. He also added eight rebounds and six assists. Anthony scored 16 points and pulled down a team-high ten rebounds to record his first career double-double while pressuring standout Tartan Nate Maurer most of the night. Schwieterman added a career-high 15 points and dished out seven assists while running the show for the Beavers. Although Sweet saw limited action due to foul trouble he contributed 13 points and grabbed a team-high four steals on the evening. Reucher set a career high by scoring 10 points and adding three steals. Senior Darren Clark (Plain City/Jonathan Alder) tallied eight points and dished out three assists in the victory. Bluffton hit 31-59 shots from the field, including 11-19 from long distance, and converted on 23-33 attempts at the charity stripe.Bluffton will return to action on Wednesday, January 4 when it hosts Manchester College in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener for both teams. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.