2014-15 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 103, Hanover 102 (3 OT)
January 31, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team went the distance and then some, as they needed three overtimes to defeat the Hanover College Panthers, 103-102, on Saturday, Jan. 31. Bluffton junior big man Thayne Recker (Arlington) scored a school and HCAC-record 53 points behind a school record in free throws made (25) and FT attempted (28) in a game. He also tied his career-high with 15 boards on the afternoon. The victory moved Bluffton to 9-10 overall and 5-7 in HCAC play. Hanover fell to 9-10 and the Panthers are now 6-6 in the conference.
With the game tied at 14 early in the first stanza, Bluffton scored 13 of the next 15, capped by a triple from freshman Josh Woodrich(Navarre/Central Christian) for a 27-16 advantage at the 8:54 mark, a lead that would expand to 13 (39-26) at the half.
Hanover came out hot in the second by scoring 20 of the first 26 to take a 46-45 lead with 12:47 left in regulation. Bluffton fought back, using another 8-0 push behind a deuce from Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) along with three more buckets from Recker for a 59-51 spread. But the visitors would rally back, cutting the lead to two on six straight points with 1:27 left. Following two freebies from Recker, Michael Van Kleunen drilled a triple to cut the lead to one. Austin Rohde (Shelby) went to the other end for a deuce with 26 ticks on the clock. Following a Panther layup, Rohde converted two more foul shots with 3.2 seconds on the clock. Bluffton fouled Ethan Black with a three-point lead and he promptly missed both freebies, but V.J. Billups tipped the intentional misfire to Van Kleunen, who nailed a triple at the buzzer, tying the game at 70 and sending it to overtime.
In the first OT, Bluffton bullied its way way to a six-point advantage on six freebies from Recker and a jumper by Taflinger. Five straight points from the Panthers in just 30 seconds cut the lead to one. After Taflinger made one of two from the line, Hanover’s Kyle James hit a jumper in the paint with 10 ticks left and Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) missed a buzzer beater as the game moved into its second extra session.
In the second OT, Hanover led most of the way, but never by more than three tallies. However, nine counters from Recker in the session, including 7-of-8 from the line and the game-tying freebie with 27 seconds remaining sent the game into a third overtime with Recker sitting at 49, one away from the school mark.
The record would not hold up as a jumper at the 4:11 mark broke Scott Bergman's 10-year-old mark and gave the Beavers a 90-88 advantage. Hanover would quickly tie before two more freebies got Bluffton back up two. Following two Panther makes at the stripe, Woodrich buried a wide-open three in the corner for a 95-92 lead which Bluffton salted away from the charity stripe, 103-102, despite a late triple from Hanover.
The Beavers finished the contest a staggering 39-of-44 (88.6 percent) from the free throw line, including 24-of-26 (92.3 percent) in the three overtime sessions. The Beavers also finished 29-of 59 (49.2 percent) from the floor and 6-of-13 (46.2 percent) from deep. Hanover hit just 20-of-33 (60.6 percent) from the stripe, and finished 50 percent on field goals (36-of-72) and threes (10-of-20). Bluffton put together a 40-32 edge on the boards. The home commited five more turnovers (11-6) in the win.
Bluffton was led by Recker with his 53 points and 15 rebounds, including 25-of-28 from the stripe and 14-of-24 from the floor. Recker's 53 points broke the HCAC record of 51 set by Manchester's Burt Paddock in 1996. Austin Rohde chipped in with a career-best 22 markers and five boards for the Beavers, including 3-of-5 from deep. Josh Woodrich finished with 10 points, and possibly the biggest shot of the afternoon, to go along with five boards and four assists. Andrew Finley and Billy Taflinger added eight tallies apiece for the victors. Hanover finished with five in double figures, including 25 from Ethan Black and 21 from Kyle James.
The Beavers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 4, as they are home for the Manchester University Spartans, looking to avenge the 77-58 loss suffered two weeks ago. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Come support your Beavers!