bc 85, hc 83
Bluffton wins tournament championship with 85-83 win over host Heidelberg in final secondsDecember 22, 2001
Bluffton College junior Marcus Bixler hit the game-winning shot with 24 seconds left in the game and junior Mike Leimeister took home tournament MVP honors as the Beavers won the Heidelberg College Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Tiffin on Saturday afternoon.
Four BC players scored in double figures, including Bixler and Leimeister, and the Beavers shot a season-best 62.3% from the floor to beat host Heidelberg 85-83. Bluffton was just as hot from 3-point range, shooting 61.5% from behind the arc.
Bluffton has now won three straight games and will begin preparations for the Fourth Annual McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament, which tips off in Founders Hall on December 28 as the Beavers take on Bridgewater College (Va.) at 8:00.
Bluffton went up by 14 points late in the first half against Heidelberg Saturday before settling for a nine-point halftime lead at 44-35. The 'Berg widdled away at that lead in the second half and eventually tied the game at 83-83 with :49 left on the clock. Bixler's layup with :24 remaining proved to be the game-winner as two 'Berg shots in the final five seconds missed the mark.
Leimeister scored a game-high 23 points, 17 of which came in the first half. He added six rebounds, while junior Derek DeNero scored 19 points and grabbed three steals to join Leimeister on the all-tournament team.
Senior Rod Overmyer added 17 points and hit four 3-pointers, while Bixler scored a career-high 14 points and dished out a game-high 10 assists to collect his first career double-double.
Bluffton and Heidelberg both made 33 shots in the game, eight of which were 3-pointers, but it took the 'Berg 18 more attempts to reach their total.
With the win, Bluffton evens their season record at 5-5 overall. Bluffton scored 175 points and hit 17 three-pointers in the two games of the tournament. Both numbers are BC's highest back-to-back game totals of the season.