2014-15 Men's Basketball
MSJ 57, Bluffton 55
February 11, 2015
CINCINNATI, Ohio - A Joel Scudder triple with just eight ticks on the clock sent HCAC-leading Mount St. Joseph to a come-from-behind 57-55 win over Bluffton University on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The Beavers slipped to 11-11 overall and 7-8 in the Heartland Conference, while MSJ stayed atop the HCAC at 12-3 in the conference and 17-5 overall.
A series of second half spurts kept the fans on the edge of their seats as both teams battled it out on Wednesday night. Bluffton made the first push as the visitors went up 37-30 less than five minutes into period two thanks to an 8-3 run out of the gate that was ignited by a Thayne Recker (Arlington) trey on Bluffton's opening possession. MSJ responded with a 22-7 jag that had the Beavers on life support, down 52-44, with seven minutes and change to play.
However, six straight free throws, coupled with three Mount turnovers, helped Bluffton pull within two, 52-50, at the 2:51 mark. Following a Ken Kunkel bucket, Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills), knocked down a deep three, making it a one-point deficit for the visitors. The Lions came up empty on their end before Recker was fouled and cashed in with a pair of makes at the stripe for a 55-54 Bluffton lead with 17 seconds remaining. Joel Scudder answered for the home team, hitting his only three-ball of the night, knocking down the game winner with eight ticks left. Austin Rohde's (Shelby) last-second shot was off the mark as MSJ survived for the 57-55 victory.
Bluffton led by as many as six points in the first half as Recker and Josh Woodrich (Navarre/Central Christian) went for 10 points apiece in the opening 20 minutes. The Lions fought back late in the period, taking a 27-26 lead following a pair of Kunkel freebies with 16 seconds on the clock before Rohde beat the buzzer with a trifecta from Austin Moore (Maumee/St. John's Jesuit).
Recker paced the Beavers with 19 points and eight rebounds on 5-of-10 from the field and a perfect 8-for-8 at the line. Woodrich and Rohde followed with 13 and 11 markers, respectively. Senior Ryan Ebbeskotte (Delphos/Jefferson) contributed with a game-high five assists and three steals. Femi Thompson topped all scorers with 22 points on a red-hot 7-of-9 from the field and 8-for-8 at the line.
The Beavers hit just 17-of-43 from the field (39.5 percent) thanks to a meager 6-for-22 (27.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Bluffton limited MSJ to just 34 shots, but the Lions hit 19 for 55.9 percent. Both squads were lights out at the line, going 15-of 16 (93.8 percent). The visitors coughed it up just nine times while forcing MSJ into 14 miscues. The Mount finished with a slim 21-19 advantage on the boards.
Bluffton will look to get back to its winning ways when the Beavers travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for a crucial matchup with Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Feb. 14. Tip-off with the Engineers is slated for 3 p.m. following the women's contest. Bluffton will then return home for the final time of the 2014-15 campaign to take on the Earlham College Quakers on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. for Senior Night. Come support your Beavers!