2013-14 Men's Basketball
Franklin 91, Bluffton 72
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
February 8, 2014
FRANKLIN, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team was looking to extend its two-game winning streak on Saturday, Feb. 8, but host Franklin College had other plans as the Grizzlies used a red-hot shooting performance to short circuit the Beavers in the Spurlock Center, 91-72. Bluffton fell to 8-13 on the year and 4-10 in the Heartland Conference, while Franklin upped its mark to 10-11 and 7-7 in the HCAC.
After both teams traded buckets early, Franklin went on a quick 5-0 spurt for an 11-6 lead just three minutes into the contest. A three-pointer from Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Delphos Jefferson) ignited a 16-9 run that gave Bluffton a 24-20 advantage midway through the first stanza. The jag was dominated by post play from the Beavers as Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) tallied seven and sophomore Thayne Recker (Arlington) added six to go along with Ebbeskotte's triple.
Franklin answered, outscoring the Beavers 7-0 in the next minute while pushing the lead to six points (44-38) at the halftime break.
The Grizzlies came out firing in the second half, beginning on a 9-2 run and building a 12-point lead over the road team five minutes into the final period. The teams exchanged buckets before the Beavers trimmed the deficit to eight points on a deep-ball from Brock Homier (Continental). However, the Grizzlies would seal it by scoring 17 of the next 25 points while building an insurmountable 17-point lead.
Franklin's shooting was a big key to their success as they hit 60.4 percent (32-of-53) from the floor, 55 percent (11-of-20) from deep, and 94.1 percent (16-of-17) at the charity stripe. The Beavers also shot well in a losing effort, draining 51.9 percent (28-of-54) overall, including 57.1 percent (4-of-7) from distance. Turnovers were also costly as the Beavers committed 20 of them, while Franklin only committed 11. Bluffton outrebounded the Grizzlies, 31-22.
Bluffton was led by Will Pope with his career-high 31 points and six rebounds. The only other Beaver in double figures was Thayne Recker who scored 15 points, all in the first half, and added nine rebounds. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) chipped in with eight markers. Brock Homier and Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) both added six apiece, Ryan Ebbekotte scored four and freshman Austin Rohde (Shelby) had a deuce. Homier picked up four steals and handed out three assists for the visitors. Ebbeskotte and Taflinger dished out five and four dimes, respectively.
Franklin had four in double figures, led by Bailey Howard, who after scoring 45 on the Beavers in the first matchup, went for 25 on Saturday. Terry Sargent added 17 while Trey Porter and Dion Smith chipped in 16 points apiece.
The Beavers will return to action on Wednesday, Feb 12, when they take on Mount St. Joseph in the Sommer Center for a 7:30 p.m. tip. Come support your Beavers!