Bluffton 76, Denison 53
Bluffton moves to 5-1 with 76-53 dismantling of Denison University
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
December 10, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team (5-1) dominated the Denison University Big Red 76-53 on Saturday, December 10, 2005. Bluffton's 5-1 start is its best since 1965-66 when the Beavers opened the season 6-0 on the way to a 17-6 campaign.
The Beavers started slowly as Dan Hodgkinson, who led the Big Red with 16 points, knocked down his first three shots to help Denison take a 10-6 lead with 13:20 to play in the first half. Bluffton knotted the game at 12 when junior Tom Heil (Stow/Archbishop Hoban) followed a David Patch (Minster/Minster) three-pointer with a triple of his own. Six straight points from Eric Sweet (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) led to a 13-1 Bluffton run that gave the Beavers a 27-15 advantage with just over five minutes to play in the opening stanza. Freshman Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) knocked down a trey and a jumper late in the first half as Bluffton took a 14-point cushion (37-23) into halftime.
Both teams struggled to find the hoop during the opening minutes of the second half.
Junior Ricky Reucher (Toledo/Central Catholic) came in off the bench following a Bluffton timeout and
sparked the Beavers with four quick points. Denison traded baskets with Bluffton until
the 12:40 mark of the second stanza when two free throws from Jordan Krantz pulled the Big Red within 12 points of the Beavers. Bluffton tightened its grip defensively
and outscored the Big Red 26-15 over the final 12 minutes to drop Denison to 2-6 on
Sweet did the job again for the Beavers as he led Bluffton with 18 points, six rebounds and four blocks. Patch came in off the bench to score 12 points on 4-5 shooting, including a perfect 2-2 from beyond the arc. Junior Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's) also finished in double digits as he tallied 10 points. Although the Big Red defense held senior Scott Bergman (Elmore/Woodmore) to eight points, he found open teammates for seven assists and came up with four steals. Bluffton shot 50 percent for the game (27-54) while it held Denison to 36.5 percent (19-52). Denison was able to keep it close early in the game as it outrebounded the Beavers 40-26, including 15-5 on the offensive glass.
Bluffton will return to action on Monday, December 19 when it travels to Marygrove College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.