2015-16 Men's Basketball
Hanover 76, Bluffton 63
January 16, 2016
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University Beavers and the Hanover College Panthers met for the first time this season on Saturday, Jan. 16 in the Sommer Center. Bluffton's recent skid continued as the home team fell, 76-63, dropping the Beavers to 8-7 overall with a 3-5 mark in the HCAC. The Panthers were able to break through the .500 mark, getting to 8-7 overall with a strong 6-2 Heartland Conference record.
The Panthers jumped out to an early 10-3 lead following a deep 3-pointer from Michael Van Kleunen (Mason). The Beavers responded behind consecutive three-pointers from junior guard Austin Rohde (Shelby) which made it 10-9 with 15:00 to go in the first half.
A strong first half from Hanover’s V.J. Billups, who went for 14 points in the period, made sure that the Beavers were playing from behind. Thayne Recker (Arlington) and Jared Wentling (Carey) combined for eight of the next 11 Bluffton points, but the Panthers still pushed the spread to 44-28 at the break.
Bluffton came out of the intermission with a strong first possession behind Wentling’s two offensive rebounds and a Recker layup. A steal from Austin Terrill (Richwood) set up a Rohde triple and five straight points from Wentling off another deep ball and fastbreak basket cut the lead to six. The Beavers were able to get within two points following a huge three from Terrill, but were unable to complete the comeback as Van Kleunen and Wes McKinney closed out the game for the Panthers.
Jared Wentling had a strong outing, finishing with his first career double-double. He tallied 13 points and 10 boards while adding a steal and two assists. Thayne Recker contributed 14 points, five boards and two assists. With those points Recker moves to 8th all time (1,424 career points) on Bluffton men’s basketball scoring list. Rohde had a strong scoring night, hitting a game-high 24 markers, shooting 10-of-19 from the floor and 4-of-8 from behind the arc which tied his career high for makes from distance. Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) handed out a game-high eight assists, just one shy of his career high.
The Beavers head to Defiance on Wednesday as they look to right the ship against their rivals to the north. You can catch the game at 8 p.m. on January 20.