Bluffton 103, Defiance 93 (OT)
Beavers take sole possession of first place in HCAC with 103-93 win over Defiance in OT
By: Shannon Ramer and Jordon Bruner, sports information assistants
December 6, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University's men basketball team won a thriller in overtime, defeating long-time rival Defiance College, 103-93. The Beavers improved to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in HCAC play. The victory moves Bluffton into sole possession of first place in the HCAC.
The defense of senior Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) sparked the Beavers 19-point explosion in overtime. Two steals by the 5-8 point guard, combined with the team shooting 9-of-10 from the line, helped Bluffton do something it could not do in regulation, close the door on the Yellow Jackets.
Sophomore Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) led Bluffton in scoring with 23 on 7-of-12 shooting. Fellow sophomore Nick Wilson (Payne/Continental) scored a career-high 22 points, including a lights out 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Schwieterman also poured in a career-high with 16 points while dishing out a game-high six assists.
The Yellow Jackets came out strong right from the tip, jumping out to an early 9-0 lead. C.J. Johnson was a part of each one of those nine points, knocking down three buckets and dishing out an assist.
Following a timeout by head coach Guy Neal, the Beavers slowly began climbing back into the game. Cunningham converted an old fashioned three-point play with 12:07 left in the first half to knot the game at 16. The two teams went back and forth the rest of the half as the Beavers took a 39-37 lead into the lockerroom.
Bluffton once again came out strong to start the second half, opening up a 46-40 lead. Consecutive jumpers by Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. Johns) and Cunningham along with a three-pointer by Schwieterman led the Beavers' spurt.
Wilson knocked down a three and got to the hoop to spark a 10-1 run midway through the second half. Junior Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) continued his stellar shooting as he popped off a couple screens to score five consecutive points during that span.
The shooting of Defiance frosh Mike Floyd helped pull the Yellow Jackets within one point of Bluffton, 77-76, with just over three minutes to play. Floyd's three-point shooting kept Defiance in the game, as he scored a game-high 27 points, including seven triples.
Buckets by Wilson and Anthony helped give Bluffton an 81-80 lead with two minutes to play in the game. Schwieterman then hit two free throws to give the Beavers a three-point lead with just over a minute left.
After a Matt Muratori layin made it a one-point game, 83-82, a Cunningham free throw gave Bluffton a two-point lead with twenty seconds left in the game. Muratori could not convert the old fashioned three-point play with seven seconds left in the game to give Defiance the win, instead the contest went into overtime tied at 84.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, December 9, 2006 when the Beavers travel to Terre Haute, Ind., to square off with HCAC foe Rose-Hulman in the second game of a women's and men's doubleheader. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.