2014-15 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 62, Rose-Hulman 59
February 14, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men grabbed their fourth win in the last five games as they squeaked out a 62-59 victory over the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday, Feb. 14. Bluffton improved to 12-11 and 8-8 in the HCAC while Rose dropped to 13-10 and 9-7 in the conference. Junior Thayne Recker (Arlington) had another monster day, scoring 21 points and grabbing 15 boards, including his 500th career rebound.
It remained a one possession game through the opening five minutes before a Recker deuce and another from freshman Austin McDonald (Upland, Ind./Eastbrook) gave Bluffton a four-point lead. It mushroomed to eight points at the 8:18 mark on a triple from Joshua Woodrich (Navarre/Central Christian) before 10 straight points put the Engineers up 23-21. The game was tied at 25 with 2:56 left in the half before Woodrich drilled two more trifectas, making it a six-point spread. Rose-Hulman countered with five straight to scratch Bluffton’s lead to one heading to halftime.
The second half would be tight throughout, as neither team led by more than four points, including seven lead changes and six ties. Rose-Hulman led by three at the 4:13 mark, when Recker's bucket dropped it to one. The Engineers converted just two of their next four free throws for a three-point cushion before freshman Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) dialed long distance to knot the game. He hit another on the following possession, giving the Beavers a 60-57 lead with just 1:46 remaining. Rose-Hulman’s Matt Loesing knocked down two freebies to pull RHIT within one, but Finley answered back on the ensuing possession to keep Bluffton’s lead at three. A triple from Dillon Reynolds fell short at the end as the Beavers held on for the crucial Heartland Conference win.
Bluffton oushot the Engineers, hitting 50 percent (6-of-12) of its triples and 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field overall, despite only shooting 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the stripe. Rose-Hulman finished just 42.3 percent (22-of-52) from the floor, 22.2 percent (2-of-9) from beyond the arc and 59.1 percent (13-of-22) at the line. Bluffton also won the battle of the boards, 36-31, but committed five more turnovers (15-10).
The visitors were led by Recker with his 21 points and 15 boards for his 15th double-double. He was also 9-of-14 from the floor. Recker went over 500 career boards in the victory and he now needs just 23 points to reach 1,000 for his career! Joshua Woodrich added 11 points, four rebounds, and two blocks while Andrew Finley scored ten, including the final eight points of the contest for Bluffton to go along with his three boards and two steals. Austin Rohde (Shelby) chipped in nine points as well. Rose-Hulman had three in double figures, led by Jimmy Miller with 16 and Tyler Duffy with 15.
The Beavers will return home on Wednesday, Feb. 18 for Senior Night, as the Earlham College Quakers come to town for an HCAC showdown. Tip-time is set for 7:30 p.m. in the Sommer Center. Come support your Beavers!