Bluffton wins two of three last week, preps for HCAC opponentsBy Tim Stried
December 2, 2002
|Special to: The Bluffton News (Dec. 5), The Witmarsum (Dec. 6), Alumni e-newsletter (Dec. 3), but you read it here first.
The Bluffton College men's basketball team won two of three games last week and now has their sights set on three straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponents over the next two weeks.
The Beavers are now 2-3 overall after wins over Earlham and Marygrove last week and a loss to Heidelberg in the championship game of the Taco Bell/Comfort Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Founders Hall Nov. 29 and 30.
Upcoming games include Manchester at home on Dec. 4, at Hanover on Dec. 7 (WDOH 107.1 FM), home vs. Mt. St. Joseph on Dec. 14 and home vs. Denison on Dec. 21.
Bluffton 81, Heidelberg 84
In a game that went down to the final shot, Bluffton fell to Heidelberg 84-81 Saturday afternoon in Founders Hall in the championship game of the Taco Bell/Comfort Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.
Last season Bluffton won the tournament championship on Heidelberg's home court with an 85-83 win, but this year Heidelberg returned the favor with a three-point win on the Beavers' home court.
Bluffton shot an impressive 10-for-18 from 3-point range, but Heidelberg's 40-26 scoring edge in the paint and 34-29 rebounding edge made the difference as the Student Princes improved to 3-2 on the season.
Bluffton led 39-38 with 1:22 left before halftime, but Heidelberg took a 42-39 lead at halftime and did not trail at any point in the second half. Bluffton never trailed by more than eight points in the game and Leimeister's 3-pointer with 10 seconds left in the game brought BC within three points at 84-81. A 3-point attempt from senior Derek DeNero from the right wing as the final horn sounded would have tied the score, but the shot did not fall.
DeNero was 4-for-6 from 3-point range, finishing with 17 points, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to land a spot on the All-Tournament Team. His four 3-pointers were a career high and he added three assists and two steals and ended the tournament with 28 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.
Leimeister also scored 17 points against Heidelberg, while junior Brad Boyles chipped in 10. Freshman Scott Bergman hit three 3-pointers to end the game with nine points, while senior Marcus Bixler added eight points and collected a game-high seven assists.
Bluffton 94, Marygrove 70
Bluffton rolled over Marygrove Friday night 94-70 in the opening night of the Taco Bell/Comfort Inn Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.
Four BC players scored in double-figures, led by Boyles who scored a career-high 20 points. Leimeister scored 18 points, with 16 of those coming in the first half. DeNero added 11 points and freshman Bryan Yelley chipped in 10.
A 9-0 run by Marygrove gave the visitors from Detroit a 17-11 lead with 14:33 left in the first half, but after a timeout Bluffton went on an 11-0 run to regain the lead and a 19-3 run later in the first half put the Beavers up 49-31 with two minutes before halftime. BC led 55-35 at the intermission.
Bluffton (2-2) shot nearly 62% from the floor in the second half to keep Marygrove (3-5) from getting back into the game as all but one of Bluffton's 15 players in uniform scored. The BC bench scored 31 points in the game.
Bixler scored six points and dished out seven assists, while Beilharz was 4-for-5 from the floor for eight points.
Bluffton 72, Earlham 68
Bluffton pulled away from host Earlham last Tuesday night to take a 72-68 win on the road over the previously unbeaten Quakers.
With the game tied at 59-59 with 2:20 left to play, Bluffton scored the game's next seven points to take a 66-59 lead and force Earlham to play catch-up. The Quakers got within three points with 14 seconds left but the Beavers held on for their first win of the season.
Leimeister scored 19 second half points and finished with a game-high 26 points as Bluffton shot 56% from the field in the second half and converted 15-of-21 free throw attempts. For the game, Bluffton (1-2) out-shot Earlham (2-1) 50.0% to 42.1% and out-rebounded the Quakers by two (33-31).
Beilharz scored a career-high 11 points to be the other Beaver in double-figures, while Bixler scored eight points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds. DeNero chipped in nine points.
Bluffton trailed by as many as six points in the first half before coming back to tie the score at 27-27 at halftime. The Beavers began the second half with a 13-4 run to take a seven-point lead but Earlham would regain the lead and go up by five points with under five minutes to go. Eight straight points from Leimeister, however, gave the lead back to Bluffton and BC would not trail the rest of the way.