2013-14 Men's Basketball
Rose-Hulman 70, Bluffton 57
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
January 4, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team struggled to take care of the ball in a 70-57 loss at Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. The Beavers turned it over 21 times and fell on the road despite shooting a blistering 24-of-42 (57.1 percent) from the field. RHIT improved to 8-3 overall and 3-1 in the Heartland Conference, while Bluffton dipped to 6-5 on the season and 2-2 in the HCAC.
Rose bolted out to a 16-6 lead just over five minutes into the contest with four of The Engineer starters getting their names in the scorebook. The Beavers countered with a quick spurt to cut the RHIT lead to four points midway through the first half following consecutive buckets by Jordan Turner (Swanton/Delta) and a Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) triple.
However, the home team stormed back and pushed the lead into double digits less than two minutes later thanks to six points from Julian Strickland. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) and Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) connected to keep Bluffton within striking distance as Rose took a 37-27 lead into the break.
The Engineers extinguished any hope the Beavers had right away with a 5-0 spurt in the first two minutes of the second half to extend their lead to 15 points. The Beavers never pulled closer than 12 points the rest of the way as Rose-Hulman capped the women's and men's Saturday sweep of Bluffton in round one of the 2013-14 home-and-home series.
Senior Will Pope led the Beavers with 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He also pulled down seven boards. Thayne Recker (Arlington) was the only other Beaver in double figures as he hit 4-of-5 for 10 points with seven rebounds. Nine of Recker's points came late in the second half. Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) and Jordan Turner chipped in with nine and six points, respectively. All-American Julian Strickland paced the Fightin' Engineers with 26 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
Both teams shot it well as RHIT finished the afternoon 28-of-52 (53.8 percent), including 3-for-6 (50 percent) on triples. Rose hit 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) at the stripe and Bluffton was 6-of-9 (66.7 percent). The Beavers pulled down four more rebounds (24-20), but the visitors turned it over 10 more times (21-11)
Bluffton returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, when the Beavers travel to Cincinnati, Ohio for a meeting with the Mount St. Joseph Lions. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.