2017-18 Men's Basketball
Roanoke 70, Bluffton 55
November 17, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
ROANOKE, Va. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team opened its 2017-18 campaign in the Dick Leftwich Tournament against host Roanoke College on Friday, Nov. 17. Bluffton trailed just 20-18 with seven minutes to play in the first half but Roanoke turned that into a 12-point deficit at the break and the home team never looked back en route to a 70-55 victory over the Beavers.
The Beavers jumped out to a 9-3 lead that included a KEVIN CHRISTIE (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) triple and a MANDELL RANSAW (Cleveland/Cuyahoga CC) layin. However, the Maroons took the lead after a DOUGLAS ELKS layup with 8:47 left in the half. Trailing by five, Kevin Christie drained another bomb from downtown to cut Roanoke’s lead to 20-18. The home team regained momentum by outscoring the Beavers 19-11 in the final seven minutes of the first half for a 39-27 spread heading to period two.
Bluffton struggled to get shots to fall as the Maroons went on a 7-0 run to start the half. Bluffton finally broke the ice at the 16:49 mark as JARED WENTLING (Carey) converted a shot in the paint to make it 48-29. With 4:11 left in regulation, ANDREW HUNTER (Arlington) drove to the basket and made the deuce while getting fouled. After completing the old-fashioned three-point play, Bluffton was within 17 at 61-44. The visitors were unable to get it under double digits as Roanoke opened the season with a 70-55 victory..
Leading the charge for the Beavers was Andrew Hunter who went 4-of-7 from the field with 12 points and three rebounds. Also contributing was Kevin Christie who dropped nine points with two assists and five rebounds while JUSTIS DOWDY (Van Wert/Lincolnview) added eight points.
Bluffton shot 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) from the field and 4-of-20 (20 percent) from behind the arc. While the Beavers were able to win the rebounding battle 38-36, they coughed the ball up 23 times in the contest.
Bluffton will take on Spalding in the consolation game from Roanoke at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, before returning to the Sommer Center on Tuesday, Nov. 21, for the home opener with Ohio Midwestern at 8 p.m.