2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 51, Hanover 48
Bluffton stuns Hanover 51-48 after trailing for over 38 minutes
February 11, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information intern
HANOVER, Indiana - The Bluffton University men's basketball team took its first lead of the game with just over a minute thirty to play and came away with a huge win on the road at Hanover, 51-48, on Saturday, Feb. 11. The Beavers upped their season record to 15-8 overall and 9-7 in the HCAC. Hanover dropped to 16-6 (12-4 HCAC) with the loss. The win moved Bluffton into a tie with Anderson and Rose-Hulman for third place in the conference. Hanover locked up second place while Transylvania clinched the regular season crown following its 72-52 win over Manchester.
Hanover grabbed the lead with two baskets before a layup by Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) got Bluffton on the board at the 15:52 mark. After the Panthers extended the lead to as many as seven, a jumper by senior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) pulled the Beavers within one, 18-17, with just over five to play in the half. However, Hanover used a quick 10-5 spurt to take a 28-22 advantage at the break.
Both teams came out of the half and kept up the intensity as scoring went back and forth for the first 10 minutes with Hanover leading by as many as nine following three consecutive Mike Smith hoops early in the second stanza. Bluffton finally gained some momentum when senior Mychal Hill (London/Jon. Alder) drained a trey to cut the deficit to one at 44-43 with 7:22 left in the game.
The Panthers fought back and held the lead as they had the entire game, but the gauge hit empty for Hanover and the determined Beavers had one last burst in them as they grabbed their first lead of the game (49-48) on a layup by Farley with 1:31 remaining.
Farley then used a slick feed from Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) on the very next possession for a 51-48 lead with just under 50 seconds to play and that was all she wrote for the Panthers as they missed both of their three-point attempts with the clock ticking down.
It was a well-rounded effort by the Beavers as five players scored seven or more points. Farley chipped in with 10 points, four boards and three assists. Fellow senior Nate Heckelman also had a productive game, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.
Bluffton went 20-of-47 (42.6 percent) from the field, while Hanover connected on 17-of-51 (33.3 percent) field goals. From the foul line, the Beavers were 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) and the Panthers hit 8-of-11 (72.7 percent). Bluffton finished 3-of-13 from outside the arc (23.1 percent), compared to Hanover who converted just 6-of-24 (25.0 percent) triples. Hanover finished with a 35-27 advantage on the glass.
Bluffton returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 15, when the Beavers travel to long-time rival Defiance College. The contest is slated for 8 p.m. in the Weaner Center.