2012-13 Men's Basketball
Rose-Hulman 67, Bluffton 64 (OT)
Bluffton battles Rose-Hulman before falling 67-64 in overtime
January 19, 2013
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team fell just short in a 67-64 overtime loss to nationally-ranked Rose Hulman on Saturday, Jan. 19. The setback dropped Bluffton to 7-10 on the season and 3-7 in the Heartland Conference. Rose improved to 15-2 overall and a league-best 9-1 in HCAC. It was an intense back-and-forth battle that came down to the final second of the contest.
The game started as Rose hit back-to-back three-pointers to take a quick 6-0 lead which forced Coach Neal to call a timeout at the 18:22 mark. Out of the timeout, the Beavers settled in and got a layup from Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee). A steal and conversion by Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) at the 15:38 mark pulled the Beavers within two, 8-6.
The first half was a defensive struggle for both teams as the score sat at 21-11 Rose with eight minutes left in the period. The Beavers closed the opening stanza on a 13-7 run to trim the gap to 28-24 at the break.
The second half opened with Bluffton going on an 8-0 run to take the lead (32-28) with 14:40 left. An offensive rebound and putback pushed the lead to six for Bluffton as they led 38-32 with 10:31 remaining.
As the teams came down the stretch, play intensified while the crowd watched from the edge of their seats. Rose hit a three with seven minutes left to take a 41-40 lead. Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) answered to give the lead back to Bluffton. Another three by Rose with 4:16 remaining gave the home team a 48-45 lead. A steal and layup by Fisher made the score 48-47 with 3:16 left.
Two free throws by Rose pushed the lead to three (50-47) with two minutes left. Tyler Neal (Bluffton) got a jumper to fall despite contact, cutting the deficit to 50-49. Neal stole the ball on Rose's ensuing possession then drained a trifecta to put Bluffton up 52-50 with 1:12 remaining. RHIT responded with a quick layup, tying the game at 52 with 56 seconds remaining.
Fisher got to the rack with 33 seconds remaining, putting Bluffton up by a deuce (54-52). Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) hit on one of two free throws with 14 seconds remaining, pushing the lead to 55-52. Rose got a quick layup which made it a one-point game.
After a timeout, Bluffton put the ball into the hands of Fisher on the inbounds and he was fouled. Fisher stepped to the line with 2.6 seconds remaining and knocked down both free throws which gave Bluffton a 57-54 lead. Out of a timeout with just 1.8 seconds on the clock, Rose found Austin Weatherford who launched a turnaround three and drained it as the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime.
Overtime started with a jumper by Pope which gave the Beavers a 59-57 lead. After an 8-3 Engineer spurt, Neal's layup with 22 seconds remaining cut the Rose lead to 65-64. Rose threw the ball out of bounds with six seconds to go. Bluffton missed a shot but got the ball after it went out of bounds off of Rose with two seconds remaining. The Beavers were unable to get the ball in and were called for five seconds. A foul sent Rose to the line where James Pillischafske knocked down both free throws to push the Rose lead to 67-64. A three by Fisher from just inside half court would not fall as time expired, giving Rose Hulman the 67-64 victory.
The offense was led by Pope as he dropped in 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Johnson added 10 points but left the game late in the second half due to injury and missed all of the overtime period. Dustin Kinn added eight points, seven rebounds and six assists. Fisher contributed with nine points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Beavers return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 23, when they host Earlham College. The game is set to tip at 7:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center.