2015-16 Men's Basketball
Rose-Hulman 66, Bluffton 62
December 12, 2015
By: Josh Burkholder, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team hosted the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology on Saturday, Dec. 12, in an HCAC matchup. The Beavers fought hard, but were unable to keep their perfect conference record intact, falling by a score of 66-62. Bluffton slipped to 5-2 (2-1 HCAC) on the season while Rose-Hulman improved to 5-3 (2-1 HCAC).
The Beavers fell behind early, as the Engineers raced out to a 17-8 advantage after six minutes. THAYNE RECKER (Arlington) responded with eight of the next 12 Bluffton points on two layups, a jumper and a pair of free throws. After a triple from freshman JARED WENTLING (Carey), the Beavers had the deficit at two, with the score 25-23 and 3:49 remaining in the first period. Bluffton and Rose-Hulman would then trade baskets to wrap up the first half scoring as the Engineers took a 27-25 lead into the break. Rose dominated the paint in the first stanza, outscoring Bluffton by a 22-12 margin.
Bluffton came out firing in the second period with a triple and a jumper from BILLY TAFLINGER (Lima/Central Catholic) as well as two buckets from AUSTIN ROHDE (Shelby) to take a 34-29 lead at the 15:44 mark. The Engineers responded quickly, scoring nine unanswered points before Recker was able to stop the bleeding with a pair of foul shots, cutting the deficit to two. That margin hovered between two and five until the eight-minute mark, when Rohde tied the game at 45 on a steal and an emphatic one-handed flush.
Rose-Hulman would then take the lead again and never look back, going on a 13-4 run over the next four minutes to make it 58-49. The Engineers kept the nearly-double digit lead down the stretch. Bluffton tried to make it interesting in the final 20 seconds, scoring seven quick points on a triple and jumper from Rohde and a steal and layup from AUSTIN TERRILL (Richwood/North Union). However, it was too little, too late, and the Beavers fell by a final score of 66-62.
Rohde led the Beavers with 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting, as well as dishing out a career-high seven dimes. Also in double figures were Taflinger and Recker, who each scored 16. Recker was the leading rebounder with eight, and Wentling chipped in a career-best five steals on the defensive end. The Beavers were a perfect 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, but only shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the field and 23.5 percent (4--of-17) from the three-point line, including a paltry 10 percent (1-for-10) in the first half.
A major factor in the game was rebounding, which Rose-Hulman won convincingly by a 37-24 margin. The Engineers shot 50.9 percent (27-for-53) from the field, as well as 35.3 percent (6-of-17) from behind the arc. Bluffton won the turnover battle, forcing 16 on 12 steals, but in the end the Beavers were unable to overcome the rebounding disparity which led to 13 second chance points for the visitors.
Bluffton’s next game will be a non-conference matchup on Friday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Sommer Center vs. Ohio Midwestern University. Come out and support your Beavers!