2010-11 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 75, Earlham 54
Bluffton secures berth in HCAC tourney with win at Earlham
February 19, 2011
By: Mallory Kemper, sports information intern
RICHMOND, Indiana - The Bluffton University men's basketball team traveled to Earlham
College on Saturday, February 19, to take on the Quakers in the final game of the
regular season. Bluffton took a 42-24 lead at the break and finished with a 75-54
victory over the home team. Bluffton ended the regular season 15-10 overall, including
an 8-10 mark in the HCAC. Earlham finished with the same 2-23 record that the Beavers
did a season ago. The Quakers went 0-18 during their inaugural campaign in the Heartland
Back-to-back three-pointers by Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parker) and Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) gave Bluffton a quick 13-4 lead at the 17:29 mark. The Quakers responded with a triple by Justin Barger to bring Earlham within 13-9 at the 16:10 mark of the opening half.
A layin by Colton Bragg and a three-pointer by Dustin Rusk made it a three-point game (21-18) with 11:50 to play in the first half.
A 7-0 run by the Beavers, including baskets from Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) and Scott Schnipke (Kalida), put Bluffton up by 10 (28-18). Back-to-back hoops by Will Pope (Somerville/Shawnee) gave Bluffton a 36-20 advantage with 4:50 left on the clock.
A layin by Pope followed by a couple of free throws gave Bluffton its largest lead of the contest, ending the first half with a 42-24 cushion.
The Quaker offense came around in the second half, starting with a trifecta by Josh Green. A Kyle Tucker three-pointer and a layin from Ryan Taylor pulled Earlham within 10 (42-32). Back-to-back layins by the Bluffton offense gave the Beavers a 14-point lead with 14:51 to play.
A Rusk deuce at the 11:56 mark made it a nine-point game (54-45). Over the next six minutes Bluffton built a 15-point lead before a layin by Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) and a bucket by Lee gave Bluffton a 19-point advantage with less than three minutes in the game. Bluffton pulled away, leading by as many as 25 en route to a 75-54 victory over Earlham in HCAC action.
Freshman Will Pope paced the Beavers with his third double-double of the season. He led all scorers with 24 points while also pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds. Pope finished the game 11-of-17 from the field. Nick Lee hit 4-of-7 from distance en route to 17 points to go along with his three assists. Josh Fisher and Dustin Kinn added nine and seven points, respectively, as 11 Beavers reached the scoring column. Brent Farley ripped down seven boards while Mychal Hill collected five caroms.
Bluffton hit 28-of-65 from the field (43.1 percent) while the Quakers made just 16-of-56 attempts (28.6 percent). The Beavers nailed 7-of-19 from distance (36.8 percent), compared to Earlham's 6-of-30 display outside the arc (20.0 percent). Both teams turned it over just 10 times, but the visitors racked up an impressive 46-32 advantage on the boards. Kyle Tucker led three Quakers in double figures with 15 points.
Bluffton now moves into the upcoming HCAC tournament at Manchester as the #6 seed next Friday, February 25. The Beavers will face #3 Anderson University at 8 p.m. for the right to play #2 seed Hanover College on Saturday evening in the conference semi-finals.