2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 85, Earlham 69
Bluffton takes down Earlham for second time in two weeks
January 23, 2013
By: Jordan Marbaugh, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team cruised to an 85-69 win over Heartland Conference foe Earlham College. Bluffton improved to 8-10 overall and 4-7 in the HCAC with their second thrashing of the Quakers in two weeks. The loss dropped Earlham to 2-16 on the year and 1-10 in conference play.
The Beavers opened the game on a 9-0 run that was topped off with a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) three-pointer following a pair of Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) chip shots. The Quakers finally cracked the scoring column after a pair of Dustin Rusk free throws at the 16:43 mark.
Bluffton did not slow down as a layup by Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Jefferson) pushed the Beaver lead to 17-5 at the 13:15 mark. Earlham closed the deficit to 27-20 seven minutes later before another triple from Fisher put the Beavers back up by 12 (32-20). Fisher went coast-to-coast as the first half buzzer sounded, giving Bluffton a 46-31 lead at the break. Fisher racked up 13 points, which was his season-high, in the first 20 minutes.
The second half started with Tyler Neal (Bluffton) hitting from deep, but Earlham answered with an 8-0 run, cutting the Quaker deficit to 49-39 and forcing a timeout by Bluffton. Out of the timeout, Fisher connected on another trifecta and he followed with a jumper, pushing the lead to 54-39 with 16:46 remaining.
Three minutes later, the Beavers went up 64-46 when Thayne Recker (Arlington) scored a layup on an assist by Ebbeskotte. Recker dropped in another jumper with 5:39 left for a 79-53 cushion. The Beavers cleared their bench for the final 4:21 as they closed out the game and the 85-69 victory.
The Beaver offense was powered by Recker and Fisher. Recker led the way with a career-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. His eight makes were more than enough to move him into the top spot in the Heartland Conference with a blistering 65.2 percent field goal percentage for the season. Fisher followed with a season-best 19 points, going 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from distance. Dustin Kinn added 11 counters of his own. Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) dropped in 10 markers on 5-of-6 shooting, giving the Beavers four players in double figures. Recker pulled down 11 boards (nine offensive) for his second career double-double. Pope ripped down eight rebounds, while Ebbeskotte dished out a game-high seven assists.
Bluffton proved to be a force inside as they out-rebounded Earlham, 41-29. The Beavers also had 40 points in the paint, compared to Earlham's 22. The home team cashed in with 24 second chance points while limiting Earlham to just eight.
The Beavers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 26, when they host Franklin on Alumni Day and Hall of Fame Day. Tip is slated for 2 p.m. due to the men's Alumni Game that morning. The women will start at approximately 4 p.m. following the men's contest.