2017-18 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 82, Illinois 74
December 30, 2017
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team closed out the calendar year in style, winning a second straight McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 30. The Beavers have won three of their past four games while improving to 5-6 on the season. Illinois College slipped to 5-5 following an 82-74 loss in the McDonald's title clash.
A 10-0 jag midway through the second period was the difference as Bluffton turned a 61-56 deficit into a 66-61 advantage as McDonald's MVP Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) scored seven straight before junior Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) capped it with a three-point bomb! Christie continued his barrage with 10 points over the final 4:32 as the Beavers claimed the championship on the strength of an 82-74 victory.
Senior captain Andrew Hunter (Arlington) joined Christie on the All-Tournament Team after a perfect 6-of-6 night from the field, including 4-of-4 from distance, for 17 points to go along with his six assists! Christie led all scorers with 23 points and he also handed out six dimes. The senior captain was a perfect 8-of-8 at the stripe. Renner netted his first career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 boards. Freshman Aaron Rich (Greenville) was 7-of-11 from the field for 16 points and four rebounds. Christie and Renner both knocked down three triples.
Illinois went 27-of-50 from the field (54 percent), compared to 29-of-61 (47.5 percent) for the Beavers. Bluffton made two more from downtown (10-8) and the Beavers finished 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) from the line. The home team ripped down 11 more rebounds (35-24) and Bluffton turned it over just five times in the finals.
Max Stutsman went 4-of-5 from deep for 20 points and he was joined on the McDonald's All-Tourney Team by fellow Illinois College Blueboy Mason Speer. Pitt-Greensburg downed OSU-Lima 93-55 in the 2 p.m. consolation contest on Saturday.
The Beavers head to Mount St. Joseph on Wednesday, Jan. 3, for a 7:30 p.m. meeting with the Lions as Bluffton gets back to Heartland Conference action.