2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 73, Defiance 67
Bluffton takes down rival Defiance College 73-67 in Founders Hall
January 4, 2012
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team continued its winning ways with an exciting 73-67 victory over the Yellow Jackets in the first installment of the newly-minted Double-Dip Wednesdays between Bluffton and Defiance College. The Beavers improved to 8-4 overall and 2-3 in the Heartland Conference with their third consecutive win. Defiance dropped to 4-8 on the season and 0-5 in HCAC action.
With Defiance surging to a 49-42 lead at the 12:55 mark, the home team turned the tables thanks to a seven-point spurt capped by a pair of Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) free throws just over two minutes later. Heckelman ignited the rally with an assist to sophomore Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) and steal at the other end.
The game was knotted four more times before another Heckelman freebie and a dish to junior Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) put the Beavers up for good (60-57) with 4:50 to play. Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) converted a stickback and floor general Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) hit five free throws down the stretch to salt away Bluffton's 73-67 win over the Jackets.
Josh Fisher and Nate Heckelman combined to score 12 of Bluffton's first 15 points as the Beavers went up 15-12 at the 14:43 mark. Defiance stormed back with seven straight counters to take a 20-15 lead less than three minutes later.
A Mychal Hill triple pulled the home team within two (26-24) before a 6-2 run by the visitors pushed the lead back to six points. Hill again responded with a deep ball at the 4:01 mark, but it took a pair of Will Pope (Camden/Preble Shawnee) chip shots in the final minute to keep Bluffton within three points (38-35) at the break.
Fisher opened the second period with a steal and deuce, making it a one-point game out of the gate. Defiance countered with a pair of Anthony Brown hoops and a Drew Frizell trifecta as the Yellow Jackets seemed to be in charge, leading 49-42 with 12:55 to play before Bluffton seized control.
Nate Heckelman continued his recent torrid play with a career-high 18 points on 5-of-7 from the field and 8-for-10 at the line. He also dished out a game-high five assists and pulled down eight caroms. Mychal Hill dropped in 16 points on 3-of-4 from distance and 7-of-10 at the stripe. He also handed out four dimes.
Josh Fisher did it at both ends of the floor. He scored 15 points and picked up three steals while holding HCAC Player of the Year candidate Logan Wolfrum to just seven points, 12 below his average and all in the first five minutes of the game. Farley chipped in with a game-high 10 rebounds. Pope added eight boards and six points in the victory.
Bluffton hit 23-of-51 from the field (45.1 percent), compared to 25-of-57 (43.9 percent) for the Jackets. The Beavers went to the line 16 more times (31-15) and converted 11 more freebies (23-12). Bluffton won the war on the glass (37-30), while both teams committed just nine turnovers.
The Beavers continue with HCAC action on Saturday, Jan. 7, when they welcome Hanover to town. The contest is slated for 3 p.m. in Founders Hall and it will follow the women's game with the Panthers.