2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 82, Earlham 61
Bluffton offense explodes in 82-61 win at Earlham
January 9, 2013
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
RICHMOND, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team earned their first win in HCAC play on Wednesday, Jan. 9, with a convincing 82-61 road victory at Earlham College. The Beavers improved to 5-9 overall and 1-6 in HCAC play. Bluffton was led by senior Josh Johnson (Ottawa-Glandorf) who scored a career-high 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc while also pulling down six rebounds.
The Beavers took their first lead at 6-4 on a layup by Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway). After an Earlham deuce by Marty Broderick tied it at six, Bluffton used a 6-0 run for a 12-6 lead at the 13:47 mark. Earlham cut the Beaver lead to 13-12 before the visitors responded with a 7-0 spurt, capped by a Johnson deep ball. Bluffton led the Quakers 20-12 with 9:52 remaining in the half.
Bluffton went on a 15-4 spurt to push the lead into double digits. With the Beavers up 23-17, junior standout Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) kick started the run with a layup, followed by a Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) layin which put Bluffton on top by 10. Then, Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Delphos Jefferson) drained a big three and Pope converted the hoop and harm, making the score 35-21 with just over three minutes to play in the first stanza.
There was plenty of back-and-forth action for the first nine minutes of the second half, with neither team scoring more than four straight. However, the Beavers broke through at the 10:26 mark. The Beavers led 58-46 before a 7-0 run put the game out of reach. The run started with layins from Pope and freshman Thayne Recker (Arlington). Those hoops were followed by an old-fashioned three-point play from freshman Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic).
The Bluffton advantage ballooned to 25 points after two free throws from Johnson at the 3:57 mark. The Quakers were unable to get the lead back under 20 points the rest of the way as Bluffton wrapped up its 82-61 victory.
The Beavers had four players in double figures, led by Johnson's 19-point, six-rebound performance. Pope added 13 points and six boards, while Fisher chipped in with 11 points. Kinn finished his second double-double in three games with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Earlham was led by Dustin Rusk who scored 15 points in a losing effort.
Bluffton won the rebounding battle decisively (43-22), including 14 offensive boards. The Beavers' key to victory, however, was their shooting. Bluffton drilled 30-of-58 (51.7 percent) from the floor, including 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) from beyond the arc. The visitors dominated the paint to the tune of a 32-14 advantage.
The Beavers will return home on Saturday, Jan. 12, when Bluffton welcomes the Anderson University Ravens for a Heartland Conference doubleheader. The men's game will begin at 4 p.m. following the women's contest at 2 p.m. Come out and support the Beavers!