2014-15 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 76, Franklin 64
February 7, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Franklin College came to Bluffton looking to avenge a 74-70 December setback to the Beavers, however, Bluffton had none of it as the home team completed its first ever season sweep of the Grizzlies, 76-64. The Beavers were able to ride a hot start and grind their way through the second half to a crucial victory. Bluffton held its ground in the tournament picture while improving to 11-10 overall with a 7-7 mark in Heartland Conference. The Grizzlies dipped to 5-16 with a 4-10 record in the HCAC.
The Beavers once again came out with a hot start as they jumped out to a 20-10 advantage with 15 of the first 20 points coming off assists from Ryan Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) or Thayne Recker (Arlington) as they were both instrumental in the early surge. The Grizzles stayed within striking distance as Robbie Prather drained three consecutive triples. The first half would end with the Beavers on top, 44-35, but the Grizzles were closing in.
The second half was a different story as it became an even more physical game. The final differential did not reflect the kind of effort that both teams were giving. The home team let the big men take over as both Recker and Joshua Woodrich (Navarre/Central Christian) cashed in with double-doubles. They dominated the glass as Recker hauled in 11 and Woodrich ripped down a career-high 12.
Recker ended the day shooting 50 percent from the field and he was a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe as the free throw line was friendly to the home team (15-of-17 on the afternoon). Recker was also able to haul in 11 rebounds to go along with a steal and a block. He led the team in assists with a career-best seven dimes. Woodrich chipped in 11 points, hitting three triples, while finishing with his first career double-double. Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) got back to his hot shooting ways, going 4-of-8 from behind the arc while adding two rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Austin Rohde continued to shoot well, totaling 16 points on the game, as well as making all four of his free throws.
Bluffton converted 26-of-52 (50 percent) from the field, including 9-of-20 from distance (45.0 percent). The home team pulled down two more rebounds (31-29) and handed out two more assists (18-16).
The Beavers hit the road as they make the trek down Interstate 75 to take on the HCAC-leading Mount St. Joseph Lions on Wednesday, Feb. 11. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. in the Harrington Center.