2017-18 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 66, MSJ 64
January 31, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball squad faced off against the Mount St. Joseph Lions in a big HCAC matchup on Copeland Court. Despite a slow start that saw the visitors lead by as many as 10 in the first half, the Beavers rallied to knock off the HCAC-leading Lions 66-64 to move to 9-11 (6-7 HCAC) on the season. MSJ slipped to 13-7 and 10-3 in the conference.
Bluffton went up 12-9 after KEVIN CHRISTIE (Dayton/Bishop Fenwick) scored nine quick points for the Beavers. After a layup by the Lions made it 12-11, Mount St. Joseph would go on a 13-2 run to take a 24-14 lead with 9:52 left in the half. However, Bluffton scored 15 unanswered for a 29-24 advantage with 3:38 to play in the half. The Lions rolled off the final seven points of the period to take a 31-29 lead at the break. Kevin Christie continued his torrid play with 19 points in the first half on 7-of-10 shooting from the field!
Mount St. Joseph jumped out to a 41-31 spread six minutes into the second. Despite the Lions fast start, Bluffton fought back and took a 47-46 lead thanks to a lay-in by ISAIAH TAYLOR (Yellow Springs) with 6:04 to play. An Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) trifecta followed by six straight points from Taylor gave the Beavers a 58-52 lead with 2:14 left in regulation.
A 7-0 run by Mount St. Joseph made it 59-58 with just 1:25 remaining. The Beavers would connect on six straight free throws as they took a 64-60 lead. With 13 seconds left on the clock, Adam Goetz capitalized on a rare four-point play to tie the game up at 64. Kevin Christie drew another Lion whistle and converted both attempts from the charity stripe to put Bluffton up 66-64 with less than seven seconds to play. The Lions missed from deep as the Beavers took down one of the three teams that entered the night tied for the top spot in the Heartland Conference.
Leading the way for the Bluffton was Kevin Christie who would drop 29 points while dishing out five assists just four days after putting up a career-high 32 against Hanover. Christie was a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line and 8-of-15 from the field. Also contributing for the Beavers was Isaiah Taylor who scored 12 points and snagged five boards. Andrew Renner added 12, four rebounds, three assists and a highlight reel chasedown block!.
Bluffton finished 21-of-44 (47.7 percent) from the field while Mount St. Joseph hit 21-of-40 (52.5 percent). The Beavers were all over the glass as they doubled up the Lions, 30-15. After committing 10 turnovers in the first half, Bluffton ended with 13 for the contest with the visitors also coughing the ball up 13 times in the contest. A big stat for the game was Bluffton’s perfect 18-of-18 from the charity stripe for the contest, just three off the all-time record (1977-78 vs. Hanover) for most makes at the line without a miss.
Next up for Bluffton is an Alumni Day matchup against the Rose-Hulman Fightin’ Engineers, who the Beavers defeated in Terre Haute, Ind., earlier in the season, 73-70. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 3. The reveal of J. Denny and Jenny Beaver will take place immediately following the men's game. Come out and support your Beavers while also finding out who is in the suit!