2013-14 Men's Basketball
MSJ 70, Bluffton 56
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
January 8, 2014
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team fell on the road to Mount St. Joseph by a score of 70-56 as the Lions outscored the Beavers, 39-23, in the second half. The loss dropped Bluffton to 6-6 overall and 2-3 in the Heartland Conference. The Lions maintained their tie at the top of the HCAC at 4-1, while they sit at 7-4 on the season.
The Beavers came out with a fast start, building an eight-point advantage eight minutes into the contest, including 10 early points from senior Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee). The Lions trimmed their deficit to two points with a quick 6-0 spurt. The teams exchanged buckets until the seven minute mark of the half, when MSJ took its first lead of the contest by going on another 8-0 run with 4:10 until the break for a 29-26 advantage. The visitors answered with a 7-2 spurt to take a 33-31 lead into halftime, getting back-to-back deep balls from Blake Green (Delta) to end the half.
The home team responded to take the lead just three minutes into the second stanza and never looked back. The Beavers tried to keep the game close, getting to within a single point at the 9:42 mark. But a 14-3 run from the Lions extended their lead to 62-50 with 5:41 remaining while putting the game out of reach.
The Beavers hit 23-of-50 from the field (46 percent), while the Lions shot 26-of-51 (51 percent). The home team was also able to take advantage of 17 turnovers from the Beavers, while committing only 13 miscues. The squads both pulled down 27 rebounds.
Bluffton finished with two scorers in double figures, led by sophomore Thayne Recker (Arlington), who scored 15 points and added six rebounds. The other was senior Will Pope, who scored 13 points and grabbed seven boards. Junior Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Delphos Jefferson) dished out a team-high five assists. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) added eight points and fellow sophomore Blake Green chipped in six off the bench. MSJ finished with four scorers in double figures, led by Mark Allen with 20 tallies.
The Beavers will return to action in the Sommer Center on Saturday, Jan. 11, as they take on the HCAC co-leading Hanover Panthers in the second game of the basketball doubleheader with the women. The men's contest is scheduled to tip at 3 p.m. Come support your Beavers!