2016-17 Men's Basketball
Mount St. Joseph 76, Bluffton 59
January 25, 2017
By: Jared Sleutz, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team exchanged the lead with Mount St. Joseph 10 times in the first half before the Lions took a 40-33 lead at the break. MSJ controlled the action during the final 20 minutes en route to a 76-59 victory on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Bluffton fell to 10-7 overall and 3-7 in the Heartland Conference with Hanover, Mount St. Joseph, and Anderson all 9-2 at the top of the HCAC.
With the lead going back-and-forth throughout the first 10 minutes, an Andrew Hunter (Arlington) deep ball put Bluffton up 19-17 at the 9:42 mark. Austin Rohde (Shelby) followed with a deuce just over a minute later before MSJ took control with a 7-0 spurt. The visitors continued to push the tempo, going up by as many as 10 points before Rohde found Justis Dowdy (Van Wert/Lincolnview) for a corner three at the buzzer as MSJ took a 40-33 lead at the half.
Jared Wentling (Carey) got a stickback before a Rohde triple and a pair of freebies helped the Beavers knot the game at 40 apiece less than three minutes into the second period. Bluffton was still within a point (45-44) at the 15;13 mark, but the Lions used a 13-3 run to put the game on ice. Trey Elchert's (Jackson Center) trifecta made it an eight-point game (67-59) with 2:40 to play, however, MSJ scored the final nine points of the game for the 76-59 victory.
Wentling led the home team with his fifth career double-double, scoring 15 points and pulling down 14 rebounds while hitting 7-of-13 from the field. Rohde added 12 points, going 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Sophomore Justis Dowdy followed with nine points and KEVIN CHRISTIE (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) chipped in with eight points and a team-high four assists. MARTIN MAKSVYTIS (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe) finished with seven points on 3-of-6 from the field.
Bluffton struggled from distance, hitting 5-of-18 (27.8 percent) while the visiting Lions were a red-hot 8-of-13 (61.5 percent). The Beavers won the rebounding battle, 30-29. Both teams took care of the ball with a combined 15 turnovers (eight for Bluffton). The home team connected on just 22-of-54 from the field (40.7 percent), while the Lions went 29-for-51 (56.9 percent).
Bluffton welcomes the Rose-Hulman Fightin’ Engineers on Saturday, Jan. 28, with tip-off set for 3 PM. Rose-Hulman is 6-5 in the HCAC (8-10 overall).