2015-16 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 81, Transylvania 79
December 5, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team built a 16-point lead midway through the second half and held on for the 81-79 victory over Transylvania University on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in the Heartland Conference opener for both teams. It marked the first time in school history that both the men and women have taken down Transylvania's basketball teams on the same day! The Beavers improved to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in the Heartland Conference with their third straight win, while Transy slipped to 1-5 and 0-1 in the HCAC.
Three pointers by Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) and Jared Wentling (Carey) sandwiched around an Austin Rohde (Shelby) jumper in the paint put Bluffton up 16-7 with 13:22 to play in the opening stanza. The Pioneers responded with 12 straight markers for a 19-16 lead following a fast break layin by Alex Jones.
Wentling and Rohde continued their assault with Bluffton's next 12 points, including two Wentling triples and a Rohde trifecta for the 30-26 lead at the 4:12 mark. Eight more Beaver markers pushed the lead to 38-26 with 1:41 to play in the half. Thayne Recker (Arlington) drilled 5-of-6 at the line, making the score 41-28 at the break.
Rohde and Martin Maksvytis (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe) drilled triples, pushing the spread to 16 points at the 11:29 mark before Transylvania made its run at the Beavers. With Transy trying to chip away at the Bluffton lead, Billy Taflinger knocked down three straight jumpers to keep the Pioneers deficit in double digits.
Bluffton still led 73-62 at the 4:54 mark when the visitors turned up the intensity and went on a 17-7 run, making it a one-point game with four ticks remaining. Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) hit the first of two free throws and Transylvania was unable to get an attempt off before the final horn sounded.
Seniors Recker and Taflinger tallied 19 markers apiece to lead the Beavers. Recker just missed out on a double-double with a game-high eight rebounds, while Taflinger blistered the nets with 8-of-11 shooting. Wentling and Rohde both chipped in with 17 points. Wentling drained 6-of-7 from the field, including all three of his triple attempts. He pulled down seven rebounds and Rohde picked up a team-high four steals. Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) doled out a team-best four assists.
The Beavers were a red-hot 27-of-49 from the field (55.1 percent), including 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) outside the arc. Bluffton was outstanding at the line, converting 20-of-24 for 83.3 percent. Transylvania pulled down four more rebounds (30-26), but the Beavers dished out two more assists (14-12). The Pioneer press forced 17 Bluffton turnovers compared to just 10 miscues for the visitors.
Bluffton is back in the Sommer Center on Wednesday night when the Beavers host Earlham College. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers!