2013-14 Men's Basketball
Transylvania 97, Bluffton 91 (OT)
January 18, 2014
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team led 72-62 with just over four minutes to play before Transylvania rallied and sent the game into overtime where the Pioneers carried that momentum to a 97-91 victory in the Beck Center on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. Bluffton fell to 6-9 overall and 2-6 in the Heartland Conference, while Transylvania improved to 6-9 and 4-4 in the HCAC.
Despite four early free throws from Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic), the Pioneers went up 16-6 with 14:47 to play in the first half. Five Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) points and consecutive buckets by Taflinger and Blake Green (Delta) helped the visitors pull within five (20-15) midway through the period.
Pope took over the game and put Bluffton on his formidable back, scoring five buckets over the next six minutes as the Beavers took advantage of their advantage in the key. Blake Green dialed long distance with just under two minutes on the clock before back-to-back layins by Taflinger and Ryan Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) allowed Bluffton to pull even at the break (37-37).
Two Taflinger free throws early in the second stanza ignited an 8-0 spurt that included three straight chip shots by sophomore big man Thayne Recker (Arlington). Bluffton maintained a two-possession edge until Transy pulled within 63-61 on a Joe Jennings jumper with just under seven minutes to play.
Bluffton responded with a 9-1 run over the next three minutes, but Transy was just getting warmed up as it turned out. Ethan RowE capped a 16-6 jag when he drained a triple with just five ticks left, sending the game to overtime. The home team scored each time it touched the ball in the extra session, rolling up a total of 35 points in less than nine minutes while handing Bluffton its fifth straight Heartland Conference setback since senior captain Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) went down with an injury at Rose-Hulman.
Will Pope led five Beavers in double figures with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting in just 26 minutes due to foul trouble. Sophomores Thayne Recker and Billy Taflinger both went for 20 points. The 20 markers were a career high for Taflinger. Recker just missed out on a double-double with eight boards. Ebbeskotte chipped in with 15 points and Blake Green added 10, both career highs. Taflinger and Ebbeskotte handed out five and four assists, respectively. Parker Stansberry was unstoppable for the Pioneers down the stretch, posting a game-high 30 points on 11-of-21 from the field.
Bluffton was outstanding from the field, hitting 33-of-57 (57.9 percent) which was just a shade more efficient than Transy's 32-of-59 (54.2 percent). The Pioneers made five more triples (9-4) and hit 24-of-32 (75 percent) at the line, compared to Bluffton's superb 21-for-26 (80.8 percent). Both teams pulled down 29 rebounds and neither squad reached double digits in turnovers (nine for Bluffton and eight for Transy).
The Beavers return to the Sommer Center for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with Manchester University on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.