2016-17 Men's Basketball
Mount St. Joseph 79, Bluffton 49
January 4, 2017
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team traveled south down I-75 for a Heartland Conference matchup with Mount St. Joseph on a cold and windy Wednesday, Jan. 4. Bluffton and MSJ traded the lead 11 times in the first 11 minutes before the home team went on a 10-0 run and never looked back. Mount St. Joseph opened a 45-30 spread at the break en route to the convincing 79-49 victory in the first game of 2017.
Six points from Austin Rohde (Shelby) followed by Kevin Christie's (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) triple and layin helped Bluffton knot the score at 14-14 eight minutes into the game. Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) dialed long distance before back-to-back Jared Wentling (Carey) buckets put the Beavers up 21-20 at the 9:08 mark. However, a four-minute dry spell doomed the visitors as MSJ went up 30-21 with 5:27 on the clock. Wentling and Rohde combined for the final nine points of the half, but Mount St. Joseph went up 45-30 heading into the second period.
Junior Andrew Hunter (Arlington) got to the rack coming out of the break and consecutive Wentling baskets kept Bluffton within 15 points before another 10-0 spurt by the Lions made the score 61-36 less than five minutes into the second stanza. A Trey Elchert deep ball was the only Beaver hoop for nearly eight minutes as MSJ pushed the lead to 69-39 at the 7:36 mark. The Lions led by as many as 36 before Christie netted back-to-back buckets and freshman Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) capped the scoring with a jumper for a 79-49 final.
Wentling and Rohde tallied 14 points apiece to pace the Bluffton offense. Rohde was 5-of-10 from the field and 4-of-4 at the stripe. He and Taylor pulled down four rebounds apiece.
Bluffton struggled to a 19-of-58 shooting night from the field (32.8 percent), while MSJ knocked down 30-of-55 (54.5 percent). The Beavers were just 4-of-21 (19.0 percent) from distance. MSJ pulled down 13 more boards (40-27) and doled out 13 more assists (16-3).
The Beavers will be back in the Sommer Center on Saturday, Jan. 7, when they host Anderson University. Bluffton tips at approximately 4 p.m. following the women's clash with the Ravens.