2016-17 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 90, Hiram 86 (OT)
November 19, 2016
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team stunned Hiram College 90-86 in overtime on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. The Beavers avenged a 91-71 loss to the Terriers from the McDonald's tourney last year when Hiram posted a 19-8 mark. Bluffton stays perfect at 2-0, while Hiram slipped to 1-1.
Trailing 74-68 with just 1:13 to play, Bluffton outscored the visitors 7-1 in the last 53 seconds to give the Sommer Center fans some free basketball! Austin Rohde (Shelby) drained a triple before a pair of Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) freebies with 35 seconds remaining. Jared Wentling (Carey) cleared the defensive glass and hit Rohde in stride for a layup as the Beavers knotted the game at 75 with 21 ticks remaining. A Hiram miss as the buzzer sounded sent the game into overtime.
Consecutive triples by Martin Maksvytis (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe) and Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) set the stage for more Rohde heroics late in the extra session. The senior All-Heartland Conference guard nailed two free throws and followed those makes with back-to-back deuces in the paint for an 89-86 lead with just under a minute to play. Wentling sealed the 90-86 win when he split a pair at the charity stripe. The Bluffton defense was tenacious, keeping Hiram from any serious looks at the hoop over the final 40 seconds!
Austin Rohde led the home team with a career-high 33 points on 11-of-23 shooting. Freshman Andrew Renner added 15 markers while sophomore Martin Maksvytis scored 11 on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc to go along with five rebounds. Jared Wentling chipped in with nine points and seven boards. Senior signal-caller Trey Elchert handed out four assists, picked up three steals and added nine counters.
Bluffton hit 41.7 percent (30-of-72) on the afternoon while the Terriers were a red-hot 58.5 percent (31-of-53). The Beavers connected on 10-of-28 three pointers in the victory. Hiram was just 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from distance. The Terriers won the rebounding battle, 42-29. Bluffton was able to force 20 Hiram turnovers while committing just four miscues on the other end!
The Beavers will return to action following Thanksgiving when they travel to the Rhodes College Tip-Off Classic in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday, Nov. 26, at noon.