2015-16 Men's Basketball
Manchester 67, Bluffton 62
January 13, 2016
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Bluffton University’s men’s basketball squad hit the road to face off with Manchester University on Wednesday, Jan. 13. The Spartans defeated the Beavers in the HCAC matchup, handing Bluffton its third consecutive loss for an 8-6 mark on the season (3-4 HCAC). The Spartans improved to 8-6 (5-2 HCAC).
The Beavers jumped out to a quick start thanks to senior center THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) who notched six straight points, giving Bluffton a 6-2 lead. The teams would trade baskets back and forth until the home team went on a 6-0 run to go ahead 22-15 with 7:18 remaining in the period. The Beavers would pull within three after back-to-back jumpers by BILLY TAFLINGER (Lima/Central Catholic) made the score 22-19. Manchester pushed it to 33-24 at the 1:06 mark before Recker converted a pair of free throws to pull within 33-26 at the half.
Bluffton came out fighting and pulled within five after jumpers by JARED WENTLING (Carey) and Recker that made the score 37-32 with 14:40 remaining. With 6:42 left in regulation, AUSTIN ROhdE (Shelby) hit a three and split a pair of free throws to put the score at 52-49. The Beavers tied it up when AUSTIN TERRILL (Richwood/North Union) knocked down all three shots from the charity strip after getting fouled on a deep triple.
The Spartans opened up a four-point advantage with 4:15 left, but Recker drilled a triple to make it a one-point game. At 2:55 and with the score 59-57, Bluffton tied it up after a steal by Terrill that lead to a mid-range jumper by Taflinger. The Spartans would take a 63-59 lead after a pair of free throws with 1:05 left in the game. Rohde helped the Beavers pull within one, but Manchester held on for the win after two free throws and a layup that made the final score 67-62.
Leading the way for Bluffton was Thayne Recker who dropped 27 points and seven rebounds. Recker went past 1,400 career points on Wednesday night, moving into ninth place all-time with 1,410 tallies! Austin Rohde added 14 (3-of-5 from distance) and Billy Taflinger scored eight and handed out five assists. Jared Wentling led the team with a career-high 12 boards.
The Beavers went 24-of-58 (41.4 percent) from the field, compared to 25-of-53 (47.2 percent) for the Spartans. Bluffton won the rebounding battle, 35-34, while Manchester forced 14 turnovers to their 10 miscues.
Bluffton will hope to end its losing streak on Saturday, Jan. 16 when the Beavers host Hanover in a 3 p.m. matchup. It will also be the day that the J. Denny Beaver and Jenny Beaver mascots will be be-headed at half-time. Come out and support your Beavers!