2014-15 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 72, Manchester 61
February 4, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men matched up with the Manchester Spartans for the second time in two weeks, looking for redemption on their own floor after a 77-58 drubbing the last time the two faced off. The Beavers used a fast start to push their way past the Spartans in a 72-61 victory as they try to climb back into the tournament picture. Bluffton improved to .500 at 10-10 with a 6-7 record in the HCAC, while the Spartans fell to 5-15 overall with a 4-9 mark in the HCAC.
The home team came out with its hair on fire, displaying some of the best defense the home fans have seen this season. The Beavers were aggressive, fast and smart as they held the Spartans at seven points for just over six minutes as Bluffton went on a 15-0 run to make the score 25-7 with 8:27 left to play in the first stanza. Matt Brown was able to give the visitors a small push going into the break as he put in four of his last five shots just before halftime.
Bluffton shared the sugar as the scoring came from all over with four different Beavers in double-digit scoring. Josh Woodrich (Navarre/Central Christian) was superb, hitting 3-of-4 from behind the arc while tying his career high with 16 points. The Beavers never looked back in the second half as Manchester was unable to creep closer than seven despite a bullrush by Brady Dolezal who rolled off 11 points in a span of just six minutes. The Beavers capitalized on their strong shooting night as they went 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from deep. No bucket was bigger than Austin ROHde’s (Shelby) fast break slam as he exploded and threw it down with authority.
A strong team effort from the Beavers saw production from all starters. Senior Ryan Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) had 12 points, four rebounds and four assists, Austin Rohde tallied 15 points with two big offensive rebounds down the stretch to help ice the game along with three assists. Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) had a rough night shooting, going 3-of-11 from the field, but was able to haul in five rebounds and dish out a team-high five assists. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) excelled off the bench as he added six points, a career-high 10 boards and five assists with a block and a steal.
Come out and support the Beavers when they play at home against the Franklin College Grizzlies this Saturday, Feb. 7. Tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Sommer Center as the Beavers look to continue their HCAC push back into the conference tournament. The men's Alumni Game is slated for 11 a.m. and it is also Athletics Hall of Fame induction on Saturday!