bc 63, tmc 70
Leimeister scores 1000th point but Bluffton falls to Thomas More 70-63 on Senior DayBy Tim Stried
February 22, 2003
Bluffton College senior Mike Leimeister scored his 1000th career point, but a visiting Thomas More College squad took a 70-63 win over the Beavers Saturday afternoon on Senior Day in Founders Hall.
Leimeister scored his 1000th point on short jumper off the right baseline with 45 seconds left before halftime as Bluffton went on a 10-0 run to close out the first half with a 31-22 lead, but Thomas More shot 53.6% from the floor in the second half and out-scored Bluffton 48-32 as the Beavers went cold from the field, hitting on just 34.8% of their shots, including 0-for-6 from 3-point land.
Leimeister, who entered Saturday's game 12 points shy of 1000, finished with a team-high 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to collect his fourth straight double-double and 12th of his career.
For the second game in a row, Bluffton out-rebounded and out-shot their opponent, but came out on the losing end as the Beavers dropped their fourth game in a row after upping their record to 10-11 two weeks ago. Bluffton is now 10-15 overall, while Thomas More improves to 7-17.
Bluffton out-shot Thomas More 40.7% to 38.7% and out-rebounded the Saints 41-35.
Bluffton will travel to Anderson University Tuesday night for a first round Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament game. BC is the #7 seed in the tournament, while Anderson is the #2 seed. The winner advances to the HCAC final four Friday night at #1 seed Hanover College.
Prior to Saturday's game, Bluffton seniors Marcus Bixler, Derek DeNero and Leimeister were honored with their parents during a special Senior Day ceremony. That trio has combined to score 1,065 points at Bluffton this season, which is the most points by a senior class in a season since the 1995-96 senior class of Jeremy Best, Greg Liebrecht and Jon Kirkton combined to score 1,067.
DeNero finished with seven points and a season-high 10 rebounds, while Bixler added 12 points and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Junior Brad Boyles scored 13 points off the bench for the Beavers.
Chris Thompson led Thomas More with 18 points.
Bluffton led by as many as 11 points early through the second half, but Thomas More went on a 21-6 run to take a four point lead at 50-46 with 8:17 left to play and Bluffton was unable to reclaim the lead.
Bluffton blocked a season-high six shots in the game but was 1-for-16 from 3-point range, which tied its lowest performance of the season from trey land.