2016-17 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 83, Muskingum 79
December 31, 2016
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team rallied late for their 10th McDonald's Holiday Tournament title in the past 13 years when the Beavers downed a talented Muskingum squad, 83-79, on Saturday, Dec. 31. Muskingum slipped to 8-3, while Bluffton will head into the New Year with an 8-2 mark.
Bluffton trailed 70-64 with just over four minutes to play before the home team turned it around with a 16-5 spurt over the next three and a half minutes for an 80-75 lead and just 34 seconds on the clock. Old fashioned three-point plays by sophomore Martin Maksvytis (Dayton/Franklin-Monroe) and senior Austin Rohde (Shelby) powered the change of momentum before free throws by Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) and Rohde capped the run. Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) sealed the victory with two more freebies just before the buzzer.
McDonald's Tournament MVP Austin Rohde led all scorers with 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 at the line. Trey Elchert also earned All-Tournament honors thanks to 10 points, four assists and three steals in the final. Also in double figures was sophomore Jared Wentling (Carey) who came up one rebound shy of a double-double to go along with his 18 markers and four dimes. Senior Adam Hopkins (Wellington/Keystone) chipped in with six points on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field.
The Beavers hit 31-of-58 from the field for 53.4 percent, compared to Muskingum's 30-of-59 (50.8 percent). The visitors connected on 7-of-22 from distance, while Bluffton struggled to a 1-of-8 afternoon. The free throw line was kind to the Beavers who hit 20-of-27 for 74.1 percent. Bluffton took care of the ball to the tune of just five turnovers and they made good on those opportunities with a 16-0 advantage in points off miscues! Muskingum was dominant on the boards (35-25), but Bluffton still out-pointed the Muskies in the paint (44-36).
Grove City held off a pesky Ohio Midwestern squad, 71-58, in the noon consolation contest on New Years Eve. Caleb Tregre (Ohio Midwestern) and Andrew Beckman (Grove City) were joined on the McDonald's All-Tournament Team by Joshua Keyes and Jarrell MARSH from Muskingum.
With the non-conference slate now in the rear-view mirror, Bluffton will turn its attention to Mount St. Joseph. The Beavers head to Cincinnati for a 7:30 p.m. tip with the Lions on Wednesday, Jan. 4.