2011-12 Men's Basketball
Manchester 59, Bluffton 58
Manchester hits game winner with seven ticks left for 59-58 victory
January 18, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Manchester's Jason Spindler dropped in a jumper with seven seconds remaining to send Bluffton home with a heartbreaking 59-58 loss on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. Bluffton slipped back under .500 in the conference (10-6, 4-5 HCAC) while Manchester improved to 6-10 and 4-5 in the HCAC.
The Beavers started off the game on the right foot by grabbing an early 3-2 lead two minutes in on a trey by senior Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue). A jumper by Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) extended the lead to five (11-6) with 14:19 left in the half.
The Spartans battled back to take a 17-14 lead on Brice Lantz's make from behind the arc. However, the momentum shifted back to the Beavers' favor during a 10-0 run led by senior Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder). He drained back-to-back triples during the jag to put the visitors ahead 28-21 with just over five minutes to go in the first period.
But the pendulum continued to swing as the game shifted back Manchester's way. The home team answered the Bluffton rally with 16-2 run of their own to finish out the first half. The Beavers were plagued by four turnovers and two blocked shots during the Spartans' spurt that sent Bluffton into the locker room facing a 37-30 deficit.
Bluffton came out of break and slowly chopped away at Manchester's advantage. After six minutes of play, Lee converted an old-fashioned three-point play to pull the team within two at 44-42. Two hits from the charity stripe by senior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) trimmed the Spartans' lead to 53-52 with 6:51 to play.
The Beavers emptied the tank for one last run with Lee and Hill knocking down consecutive shots from distance for a 58-53 Bluffton lead with 4:35 on the clock. However, the team's gas gauge hit empty as the Spartans scored the final six points of the game, including the game-winning jumper by Spindler with seven seconds left for the 59-58 victory. Bluffton had one final chance, but a Hill jumper was deflected at the buzzer.
Lee led the team with 14 points and five boards while shooting 3-of-7 from behind the arc. Hill also scored in double digits with 11 markers while contributing three rebounds and three assists. Brent Farley set a career-high with six blocks to go along with four points and eight boards. Manchester's Jason Spindler was the game's leading scorer with 16 while also racking up eight caroms on the glass.
Bluffton converted just 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) from the field, while Manchester went 24-of-52 (46.2 percent). The battle on the glass was nearly even with Bluffton edging out Manchester (34-33), while the Spartans committed one less turnover (10-9).
Bluffton will look to get back on track this Saturday, Jan. 21, when the Beavers welcome Rose-Hulman to Founders Hall. The contest is slated for 3 p.m.