2014-15 Men's Basketball
Anderson 77, Bluffton 75
December 13, 2014
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers battled Anderson University in another HCAC contest that went down to the wire on Saturday, Dec. 13. Bluffton was unable to complete the late comeback in the loss to the Ravens, falling 77-75 despite out-pointing the visitors 20-12 over the last seven minutes. The game was decided in the final seconds as Bluffton’s Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) just missed a potential game-winning shot from the corner as the horn sounded. Bluffton dipped to 4-3 with a 2-1 mark in the HCAC, while the Ravens improved to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
Nathan Cross finished off a strong drive with a layup to make the score 17-11 midway through the first stanza. The Beavers responded, going on a 7-0 run that was capped when Austin Rohde (Shelby) hit the mark on his only three-point attempt of the game. It continued to heat up as the visitors took a 31-25 lead with 1:39 left in the first half. The Beavers were able to fight back and make it a game going into the second half as Andrew Finley (Cincinnati/Walnut Hills) got to the rack, helping pull Bluffton with two (31-29) to end the period.
The second half was a different story from behind the arc for the Ravens, who were only 3-of-11 in the first 20 minutes, as they got hot from deep in the final stanza, going 5-of-5 to build a 13-point advantage with 11:39 to play.
The free throw line was a safe zone for the Beavers as they took advantage, shooting a blistering 19-of-21 (90.5 percent) from the line. This performance came from everyone but none helped more than Thayne Recker (Arlington) who was a perfect 9-for-9 from the stripe. The Ravens were able to fend off a late push by the Beavers to seal the win on the road, 77-75.
Recker was a workman-like 6-of-10 from the floor to go along with his nine freebies for a game-high 21 points, adding 12 rebounds for his ninth career double double. Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) played well off the bench, providing plenty of defense while adding a three-pointer, an assist and rebound. Billy Taflinger chipped in with 15 counters and three assists. Andrew Finley dished out a career-high eight dimes to go along with his eight points and four rebounds.
The Beavers will suit up one more time prior to Christmas when they look to reload against Division I Akron next Saturday, Dec. 20. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and it will be a Neal family reunion with Tyler in his second year as an assistant with the Zips.