2016-17 Men's Basketball
#22 Hanover 65, Bluffton 64
February 18, 2017
By: Jared Sleutz, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team needed a victory over Hanover College and a Transylvania win over Manchester to keep the season alive when the Beavers wrapped up the regular season in the Sommer Center on Senior Day. The Heartland Conference regular-season champion Panthers needed every point they scored to hold off a Bluffton squad with its backs up against the wall. Austin Rohde's (Shelby) desperation corner three was off at the buzzer as Hanover escaped with the 65-64 victory. The Panthers improved to 20-4 overall (16-2 HCAC) and they will host the men's conference tournament starting next Friday, Feb. 24. Bluffton saw its season come to an end with a 13-12 mark, including 6-12 in the Heartland.
The lead went back-and-forth throughout the second half until Hanover post Corey Muchmore sandwiched a couple deuces around a Wes McKinney bucket, making it 61-55 with 5:27 to play. Junior KEVIN CHRISTIE (Dayton/Bishop Fenwick) drained a huge 3 to cut the deficit in half with 4:01 on the clock. Rohde followed with four points, making it 63-62 Hanover with less than a minute to play.
MARTIN MAKSVYTIS (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe) was fouled and drained both charity tosses to keep it a one-point Panther lead with 15 ticks left. Cam Fails missed the front end of his one-and-one and Maksvytis cleared the board. Bluffton had one final attempt with eight-tenths of a second left following timeouts by both teams but Rohde just missed from deep in the corner as time ran out.
Bluffton was led by Rohde with 22 points, four rebounds, and 4-of-8 from outside the arc, giving the home crowd a final show in the last game of his college career. Rohde finished 14th on the all-time scoring list with 1,279 career markers! Sophomore JARED WENTLING (Carey) added 12 points and seven rebounds. Chipping in with eight points were TREY ELCHERT (Jackson Center) and Kevin Christie. The senior Elchert had eight points and eight assists, going 2-of-3 beyond the arc while Christie finished with eight points, four assists and 2-of-3 shooting from distance.
Bluffton hit 22-49 (44.9 percent) on field goals, including a sterling 9-of-18 (50 percent) from beyond the arc. The Panthers were 25-of-46 (54.3 percent) from the field and 4-of-7 (57.1 percent) from downtown. The Beavers lost the rebounding battle, 29-24, but Hanover turned the ball over one more time (15-14).
At halftime, the 2007 Baseball Team was honored prior to its induction into the Bluffton University Athletics Hall of Fame. Coach Grandey and his team accepted the honor just a few weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the March 2, 2007 bus crash that claimed the lives of five baseball players in Atlanta, Ga..
Thanks to Austin Rohde, Trey Elchert, Adam Hopkins (Wellington/Keystone) and Josh Carey (Bellefontaine), who kicked of Bluffton's scoring on Senior Day, for some exciting basketball the past four years. We wish them the best as they begin a new chapter in their lives after graduation!