2013-14 Men's Basketball
Defiance 55, Bluffton 42
By: Adriane Bruner, sports information assistant
January 15, 2014
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University offense never got untracked at rival Defiance on Wednesday, Jan. 15, as the Yellow Jackets stumped the Beavers by a 55-42 count in front of a packed Weaner Center. Bluffton fell to 6-8 on the season and 2-5 in the Heartland Conference, while DC improved to 10-4 and 5-2 in the HCAC.
Unfazed by three quick Defiance baskets to open the game, Bluffton bolted to a 13-8 lead midway through the first half following a Ryan Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) deep ball and Jordan Turner's (Swanton/Delta) steal and conversion.
The home team responded with an 11-2 spurt that made the score 19-15 at the 5:35 mark of the first stanza. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) pulled Bluffton within a point on his triple with 3:08 on the clock, but Defiance closed the half on a 7-2 run for a 26-20 lead the break.
The Beavers got on the board first in the second half after finding senior Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) in the paint for an easy bucket, but the Yellow Jackets came back on their next possession with standout Bernard Edwards getting his own rebound and putback to counter the visitors. Sophomore post THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) tried to pull the Beavers back into it with a deuce in the paint, but TRAVIS SCHOMAEKER put some big points on the board for Defiance with a shot from behind the arc for a 31-24 advantage.
Despite the hard work by the Beavers, they were unable to mount a formidable challenge as the Yellow Jackets gradually pulled away, defending their home court with the 55-42 victory.
The lone highlight for Bluffton was senior Will Pope who scored career point 1,000 on his first bucket of period two. He finished 5-of-10 from the field for a team-high 15 points with six rebounds. He is the 10th player in Bluffton history to eclipse both 1,000 points and 500 rebounds for his career. Sophomore Billy Taflinger tallied 10 points and came up with a game-high three steals.
Bluffton connected on 16-of-44 (36.4 percent) from the field, compared to a 25-of-54 (46.3 percent) shooting night for the Jackets. The Beavers hit 7-of-10 from the line, while Defiance was just 1-of-5. Defiance turned it over one more time (11-10), but DC cleaned the glass with a dominating 37-23 edge on boards.
The Beavers jump back into action on Saturday, Jan. 18, when they travel to Lexington, Ky. Bluffton tips at 4 p.m. following the women's matchup with Transylvania.