2012-13 Men's Basketball
Mount St. Joseph 56, Bluffton 54
Mount St. Joseph hands Bluffton 56-54 loss in Sommer Center
November 28, 2012
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the Bluffton University men's basketball team fell to the College of Mount St. Joseph in their first HCAC contest of the season. The Beavers dipped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the HCAC, while MSJ improved to 2-2 and 1-0 in the HCAC.
The Lions came out strong and took an early lead just over three minutes into the game, going up by five (7-2) following a Joel Scudder triple. Half a minute later the Beavers trimmed the deficit to three with a layup from junior Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee).
Scudder drained a three-pointer, pushing the Mount lead to six and the visitors kept control of the scoreboard until the 6:53 mark when Pope hit from in close, drew the foul, and made his free throw. At the 4:11 mark, the Beavers went up by four after senior Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) buried a trifecta. The Lions responded with a 10-0 run as they took a 30-26 lead into the break.
Pope opened the second half with an old-fashioned three-point play, making it a one-point game. The Lions pushed their lead back to six less than a minute later thanks to a Ken Kunkel three-pointer and a deuce from David Mann.
By the 13:45 mark, the Lions' lead was down to one point after junior Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) scored four straight points. Pope had the assists on both of Kinn's layups. For the next 13 minutes, the Bluffton deficit fluctuated between two and seven points until junior Josh Johnson (Ottawa-Glandorf) hit a deep three to pull Bluffton within one with 18 seconds to play.
The Lions made two foul shots and were back up by three with 18 seconds still left on the clock. With 12 seconds to play, senior Tyler Neal (Bluffton) got to the rack and drew the foul as his shot nearly went down. His makes at the line made the score 55-54 in favor of MSJ. The Lions put in one more foul shot with 11 seconds left before Johnson's attempt at the game-winner rattled out.
The home team hit 18-of-48 (37.5 percent), while the Lions made 17-of-45 (37.8 percent). Bluffton finished 5-for-15 ( 33.3 percent) from behind the arc, while the Lions went 10-of-26 (38.5 percent). Bluffton pulled down six more rebounds than MSJ (34-28). The visitors finished with 11 turnovers, while the Beavers coughed it up 14 times.
Bluffton was led by Pope who connected for 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Fisher and Kinn added 10 and nine points, respectively. Johnson ripped down a game-high seven boards with Pope and Neal pulling down six rebounds apiece.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 1, when they travel to Franklin College. The contest with the Grizzlies is slated for 4 p.m. following the women's game at Franklin.