Anderson 96, Bluffton 85
Anderson cruises to 96-85 victory after 14-0 run to end first half
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
January 5, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio -A shaky first half proved too much to overcome as Bluffton was defeated by HCAC rival Anderson University on Saturday, January 5, 2008. With the 96-85 loss, the Beavers dropped to 8-5 on the season, while the Ravens improved to 6-6. Both teams now stand 2-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) scored first for the Beavers with a jumper at the 19:16 mark. Two layins by sophomore Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore) cut the Ravens' lead to four points, 12-8, with 16:30 to play in the first half.
With just under 14 minutes left in the first half, Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up and in to tie the score at 14.
Anderson picked up momentum and went on a 16-6 run before Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) slowed the Ravens with a theft and feed for a Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) layup at the 7:07 mark.
Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp), Chris Singleton (Ada/Ada), and Wilson hit baskets to trim the Raven lead to 39-28. With 2:31 remaining on the clock, Anderson went on a 14-point run to end the half on top 53-28. During that game-changing spurt, Mike Russell, who finished the first half 7-of-10 from outside the arc, hit three consecutive triples for the visitors.
To start the second half, Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) went 2-of-2 at the charity stripe. Wilson contributed two points off an offensive rebound and a layup by Rufenacht cut the Ravens' lead to 62-38. Cunningham, using a fed from Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay), chipped in with two more points to cut the deficit to 18 points.
Wilson sank a trey and made the ensuing free throw to complete a rare four-point play at the 8:34 mark. A layup and a another triple by Wilson put the Beavers within 15 points, 84-69. Cunningham added four more points for the Beavers, while Eichar knocked down a jumper which made the score 88-75.
Eichar picked up another steal and drove to the hoop with just 29 seconds left to go in the game. A three-pointer by Cunningham ended the game as Anderson held on for the 96-85 win.
The Beavers were led by Nick Wilson with 24 points, five rebounds, one block, and a steal. Colt Cunningham had 23 points and four assists. Josh Eichar finished with 12 points and he pulled down six boards. Zack Kraus, Justin Rufenacht, and Nate Overmyer each chipped in six points, with Kraus dishing out five assists and Overmyer and Rufenacht ripping down six and three rebounds, respectively. Aaron Taylor added four points, while Jordan Pothast and Chris Singleton contributed with two points each.
Mike Russell led the Ravens with 37 points, including a phenomenal 9-for-13 shooting performance on three-pointers. Keith Dabney pulled down seven boards and Gabe Miller dished out seven assists.
The Beavers were only 3-of-15 (20 percent) from behind the arc, compared to 10-of-20 (50 percent) on triples for the Ravens. Bluffton hit 90 percent (18-for-20) at the charity stripe and grabbed 41 boards, while Anderson was 71 percent (22-for-31) and only pulled down only 27 boards. The Ravens, however, kept the clock ticking with five offensive rebounds late in the game.
The Beavers will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 9, when they host HCAC rival Manchester College. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.