2015-16 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 77, Washington & Jefferson 55
December 29, 2015
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Bluffton University took on Washington & Jefferson in the semifinals of the McDonald's Holiday Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 29. The Beavers jumped on top with a nice start and never looked back as they were able to dominate all aspects of the game. Bluffton took advantage of a hot start from Thayne Recker (Arlington) throughout the first half before a strong second stanza from the bench pushed the Beavers to 7-2 on the season. The Presidents remain winless, falling to 0-9 heading into the consolation game with Illinois College at noon on Wednesday..
Recker and Billy Taflinger (Lima) netted 13 of the first 16 Beaver points as the home team built a 16-8 cushion. Bluffton never looked back as the Beavers led from wire-to-wire, including a 21-point spread at the break. Blake Green (Delta) came in off the bench and put up seven points in a hurry, including a hoop-and-harm on a strong drive after hauling in a nice feed from Austin Terrill (Richwood).
The second period was a nice showing for the Beaver bench as the home squad pushed the lead to 27 at the 10:58 mark. The Presidents were smothered by the Beaver defense as they were only able to cut the lead down to 21. Adam Hopkins (Wellington) set a new career high in scoring with 10 points in 19 minutes off the bench to go with four rebounds and two blocks.
The visitors were never able to get in rhythm on offense, shooting just 35 percent from the floor, including 3-of-9 from behind the arc. Bluffton converted 44.4 percent from the field, hitting 28-of-63. The Beavers also dominated the glass, grabbing 48 boards compared to just 33 for the Presidents. The home team nearly tripled W & J in assists (22-8).
Recker led all scorers with 22, shooting 8-for-11 and hauling in a game-high 10 boards. Sophomore Kevin Christie (Miamisburg) had a nice all around game, adding four points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Jared Wentling (Carey) didn't reach his normal scoring total but was still able to contribute, chipping in with four points, eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Beavers will compete for the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament championship on Wednesday with tip off set for 2 p.m. Come support your Bluffton men as they battle Hiram for the second straight season with the awards ceremony to follow the title tilt.