bc 88, ozarks 90
Bluffton falls to Ozarks in season opener at North CentralBy Tim Stried, SID
November 22, 2002
[ Statistics ]
The University of the Ozarks (Arkansas) scored the final five points of the game in the last 30 seconds to hand Bluffton College a 90-88 loss Friday night in the opening game of the North Central College Tip-off Tournament in Naperville, Illinois.
Bluffton led 88-85 with 42 seconds left to play after two free throws by Marcus Bixler, but Ozarks hit a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left to take the lead and added a free throw with 10 seconds left to claim the 2-point win.
The game was highlighted by 35 ties or lead changes as neither team was able to build a double-digit lead at any point in the game.
Leimeister scored 20 of Bluffton's first 26 points in the game and finished the first half with 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting. He was held to an 0-for-2 performance in the second half, however, before fouling out, along with Derek DeNero and Eric Sweet.
Bluffton led by eight points with 11:22 left in the first half, which would be the Beavers biggest lead of the night. At that point, however, Ozarks went on a 24-8 run to take a 32-24 lead with 6:52 left before halftime. Bluffton scored the last seven points of the first half to tie the score at 47-47 at the intermission.
Leimeister finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Junior Brad Boyles scored a career-high 19 points, while Bixler scored a career-high 16 points. DeNero ended the game with 16 points, as well.
Bluffton shot extremely well in the game (60% from the field), but was out-rebounded 45-27 by Ozarks, who grabbed 26 offensive rebounds to make up for a 14-for-30 performance at the free throw line.