2014-15 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 72, Transylvania 65
January 17, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton men took on Transylvania University for a Heartland Conference bout with tournament implications. The Pioneers came into the game with an overall record of 6-8 and HCAC mark of 3-4 to take on the Beavers who were sitting at 7-7 as well as the same 3-4 record in conference. Both teams were looking to move to .500 and put themselves in a solid position with the second time through the HCAC just one week away. The Beavers were able to forge a comeback to win their second straight at home as they spoiled the Pioneers road trip, 72-65 .
The Pioneers started out hot as they came out of the gate on a 10-3 run thanks to solid play from Alex Jones and Robert Dence. The home team was able to rally behind Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central catholic) and tie the game at 20-20 at the 6:03 mark left in the first stanza. The two teams battled to the end of the half going basket for basket until Dillion Pulliam hit a three-pointer to give Transy a 32-29 lead heading into the second half.
The Pioneers picked up where they left off as the visitors went on a 7-0 run to go up by 10 points early in the second period. Austin Rohde (Shelby) came into the game and caught fire, hitting four triples in the second half to help give the Beavers the lead and eventually the win. After tying the contest at 44 apiece with 12:21 to play, Bluffton never looked back thanks to a strong team effort from behind the arc.
Billy Taflinger came up big as he had 12 points on 6-of-12 shooting, adding a career-high eight rebounds and three assists. Thayne Recker (Arlington) was a perfect 8-for-8 at the stripe on his way to a 14-point game to go along with nine rebounds and two assists. Austin Rohde came off the bench and gave big contributions with a career-high tying 14 points, three boards and three assists. His four triples were also a career best. Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) dished out a career-high six assists as well.
Bluffton hit 25-of-50 from the field for 50 percent, including 10-of-21 (47.6) from distance, compared to a 5-of-19 (26.3 percent) afternoon for the Pioneers. The Beavers ruled the boards (35-22) and handed out 23 assists, eight more than Transy. The Pioneers turned it over just seven times, six fewer miscues than the home team committed.
Catch the Beavers when they come home to the Sommer Center on Saturday, Jan. 31, after a long road stint as they take on the Hanover College Panthers for the second time this year. Bluffton travels to Manchester University for a 7:30 p.m. start on Wednesday, Jan. 21.