2015-16 Men's Basketball
MSJ 81, Bluffton 67
January 6, 2016
By: Owen Lugibihl, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University Beavers were denied a victory in a hard-fought battle with HCAC rival Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, Jan. 6, by a final score of 81-67. With the loss, the Beavers dropped to 8-4 overall and 3-2 in conference competition. The Lions improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in the HCAC.
Both teams came out ready to battle, displaying some very competitive basketball action to begin the first stanza. Junior Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) exploded out of the gates, netting Bluffton's first seven points in the first four minutes. Senior Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) also came out gunning, hitting his first two triples to put the Beavers up by two, 13-11, at the 14-minute mark. Back-and-forth basketball ensued until MSJ guard Femi Thompson dropped in six straight points, pushing the Lions' lead to 39-28.
Mount St. Joseph was fired up leading into the second stanza, going up by 20, 54-34, at the 16:10 mark. The Beavers did not waiver, pulling within nine, 60-51, midway through the period, led by a nine-point burst from Austin Rohde (Shelby) and two triples from Martin Maksvytis (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe). The Lions answered, increasing their lead once again while fending off Thayne Recker’s (Arlington) 11-point spurt late in the game. The Beavers could get no closer than nine, eventually losing by 14 (81-67).
The Beavers struggled to make shots, finishing 39.1 percent from the field (25-of-64) and 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from beyond the arc. Bluffton did control the glass, out-rebounding the Lions 34-29, and grabbing 16 of their 34 boards on the offensive glass. Mount St. Joseph was red hot from the field, shooting 60.4 percent (29-of-48) and 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from deep. The Lions also clawed their way to the charity strip 19 times, converting 16 freebies (84.2 percent).
The home team put three players in double digits with Thayne Recker leading the way, posting 17 markers on 6-of-16 shooting from the field. Recker also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out a team-high four assists. Austin Rohde finished the game with 11 on 4-of-10 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from the free throw line, also adding four rebounds and two assists. Trey Elchert chipped in with 10, on 4-of-9 shooting from the field, while handing out two assists.
The Lions were balanced with five players scoring double digits, led by forward Tyler Manaugh’s 17 and standout Joel Scudder’s 16. Versatile guard Travis Combs posted a near triple double, notching eight points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists.
Next up for the Beavers is another HCAC matchup at Anderson University on Saturday, Jan. 9. The tip is slated for 4 p.m. following the women's contest with the Ravens. Go BEAVERS.