2015-16 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 72, Earlham 61
December 9, 2015
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team hosted Earlham College on Wednesday, Dec. 9, in an HCAC matchup. The Beavers were able to pick up their fifth win of the season, including their 21st consecutive victory over the Quakers. The 72-61 win moved Bluffton to 5-1 (2-0 HCAC) on the season and kept Earlham winless at 0-5 and 0-2 in the HCAC.
The teams traded misses during the first five minutes with Earlham up 8-7 at the 15:00 mark. One possession after Adam Hopkins' (Wellington/Keystone) crosscourt pass was knocked into the hoop, AUSTIN ROHDE (Shelby) threw the hammer down on a fast-break to give the Beavers an 11-8 lead. The visitors answered by going on an 11-4 run to take a 19-15 lead with 6:51 left in the first half. Bluffton fought back and knotted it up at 23 after a jumper by Rohde. A triple by senior BILLY TAFLINGER (Lima/Central Catholic) and a Rohde tip-in put the Beavers up, 28-23. Bluffton went into half with a 34-23 lead after a layup by BLAKE GREEN (Delta).
JARED WENTLING (Carey) punched it in from in close following a dish from THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) to start the second half . With each team trading baskets, the Quakers pulled within seven, but after consecutive deuces by Recker, the home team was up 11 with 8:44 remaining. Another jumper from Recker, a layup by AUSTIN TERRILL (Richwood/North Union) and a Green hoop put Bluffton up 16 with only 4:36 left in the game. A late jumper by Rohde and a bucket by Earlham's Taylen Alexander made the final score 72-61.
Leading the Beavers in scoring was Rohde with 26 on 9-of-15 shooting and 4-of-8 from three, along with five assists. Rohde equaled his career best with the four triples. Recker added 20 tallies and grabbed 14 boards for his 21st career double-double, while Taflinger put up seven markers with four assists.
Bluffton won the rebounding battle, 37-34, while also forcing 10 Quaker turnovers. Earlham shot 44.4 percent (28-of-63) from the field to the Beavers' 42.6 percent (26-of-61). Bluffton was able to contest the outside shot, limiting the Quakers to just 14.3 percent (3-of-21) from downtown.
Bluffton's next contest will be at home on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. as the men look for their fifth straight win. Come out and support your Beavers!