2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 83, #14 Transylvania 65
Beavers win way into HCAC tourney with 83-65 demolition of #14 Transy
February 18, 2012
By: Martin Kluk, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - While the Founders Hall faithful frantically refreshed the Heartland Conference Live Stat pages on their iPhones and iPads, the Bluffton University men left nothing to chance when they stepped up to the challenge on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012, dominating the 14th ranked Transylvania Pioneers in a huge 83-65 win on Senior Day. The upset sends Founders Hall out with a monumental victory in what very well could have been the last Beaver basketball home game with the opening of the new athletic center next season. With the victory, Bluffton improved to 16-9 overall and 10-8 in the HCAC while clinching the 4th seed in the conference tournament. Transylvania slipped to 22-3 (16-2 HCAC) with the loss but still holds the number one seed in the tournament that they will host next weekend.
Senior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) was the first Beaver to score as he got to the bucket 30 seconds in to make it 2-1. Bluffton applied the pressure on Transylvania early and often, forcing tough shots and turnovers as Coach Lane was assessed a technical foul at the 13:14 mark. Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) drained both freebies to give the Beavers a 15-8 advantage.
After Transy cut the deficit to two, Bluffton responded with a quick jag, capped by a Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) layin that put the team up nine (22-13) with just over eight to play in the half. But once again the Pioneers responded with a 12-2 run of their own during the next two and a half minutes to grab back the lead, 25-24. Even play ensued for the next few minutes before a Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) trey with 47 seconds left put the Beavers up 31-27 as they headed into the locker room.
Coming out of the break, you could see the focus on the players' faces, especially the seniors. They stepped on the floor and left nothing in the tank. Hill drained another from behind the arc on the very first possession of the half to put the Beavers up seven, 34-27, and you could feel the intensity building in Founders Hall. It fueled an 18-6 run by Bluffton that put the team up 49-33 with 12:44 left to play.
The Pioneers tried to keep pace with the Beavers, but there was no chance as Bluffton seemed to make every big shot in the second half, connecting on an incredible 15-of-22 from the field, including a blistering 7-of-9 (77.8 percent) from distance. Minutes later, Lee drained another of his team-high five threes to give Bluffton a 20-point spread (61-41) with 7:43 left. Down 70-50, Transylvania pulled the cord with 4:26 to play as the Pioneer bench was cleared for the starters who had been thoroughly outplayed by the home team. The reserves battled it out during last few minutes until the game went final, 83-65. Bluffton celebrated the huge win and sent the seniors off with a Founders Hall finale to remember.
It was a well-rounded effort by the Beavers as five players scored in double-digits. Hill led the team with 21 points on a terrific shooting day. He went 7-of-8 from the field, 3-of-4 from distance and knocked down all four at the charity stripe. Lee also shot lights out, draining 5-of-9 treys and notching 17 points with four assists. Down low, Farley had a monster game with 13 points, seven boards and six assists while hitting 5-of-6 from the field.
Bluffton finished a ridiculous 26-of-42 (61.9 percent) from the field, while Transy connected on 21-of-56 (37.5 percent) field goals. From the foul line, the Beavers were 21-of-31 (67.7 percent), and the Pioneers hit 14-of-23 (60.9 percent). Bluffton finished 10-of-16 from outside the arc (62.5 percent), compared to Transy who converted just 9-of-25 (36.0 percent) triples. Bluffton ended with a slim 31-30 advantage on the glass.
Bluffton will travel to Transylvania on Friday, Feb. 24 for the conference tournament where the Beavers will meet Anderson University in the 4 vs. 5 matchup. The contest is slated for 8 p.m. in the Beck Center.