Bluffton 95, Transylvania 92 (OT)
Beavers tie school-record with 11th straight win, a 95-92 victory over Transy in OT
By: Jordon Bruner, sports information assistant
January 3, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Bluffton overcame a late collapse to win its school record-tying 11th consecutive victory with an exciting 95-92 win over reigning HCAC champion Transylvania University in overtime. The win moves the Beavers to 12-1 overall with an unblemished 4-0 mark in conference play. Free throws proved to be the key stat of the game as Bluffton went an amazing 34-of-37 from the charity stripe, including a stretch of 21 consecutive makes in the second half.
After blowing a seven-point lead with one minute remaining in regulation, Bluffton matched Transylvania basket for basket in overtime. Trailing 85-84 following a three by Transylvania's Nick Feagan, the Beavers used a classic inside-out as junior Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) knocked down the trey off a feed from sophomore Nick Wilson (Payne/Continental).
Up 91-90 with 21 seconds left in overtime, senior Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) came up big on the defensive end as he stripped Tim Tierney on his way to the bucket. Schwieterman was then fouled and converted both free throws to give the Beavers a three-point lead with 15 seconds to play. Tierney made it one-point game with 10 seconds left following a coast-to-coast layup.
Bluffton once again came up huge at the free throw line as sophomore Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) knocked down both attempts to make the score 95-92. Tierney's three-point attempt with just seconds remaining bounced off the rim and into the hands of senior Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's), one of his game-high 13 boards on the night.
Five consecutive points by Overmyer helped Bluffton jump out to a 15-11 lead just eight minutes into the first half.
The two teams traded baskets for the next few minutes until Bluffton took a 25-17 lead after Cunningham set up Wilson and fellow sophomore Josiah Stober (Spencerville/Spencerville) for baskets. Bluffton went into the break with a 31-27 advantage.
The Beavers once again came out strong after the break as Anthony put up four points in a three second span to help Bluffton forge a commanding 37-27 lead only one minute into the half.
Transylvania hit two trifectas and went six-of-six from the line to close the gap to three, 45-42, with just over 13 minutes in the second stanza.
Bluffton's seniors helped push the lead back up to 10 as Schwieterman and Ricky Reucher (Toledo/Central Catholic) combined for seven points in a two-minute span to give the Beavers a 52-42 advantage.
Over the next eight minutes, Feagan and Anthony proved why each is the go-to-player on their respective teams. Feagan scored 17 of his team's 27 points during that stretch. Anthony, not to be out done, put up 16 of Bluffton's 25 points in those eight minutes, including a perfect 12-of-12 from the line.
Schwieterman hit two more free throws for Bluffton as they took an 80-73 lead with 1:02 on the clock.
The Pioneers frustrated Bluffton with a full court press, forcing four turnovers in the final minute of regulation. Transylvania, behind the scoring of Tierney, converted those turnovers into seven points to force the extra period.
Bluffton won the game despite struggling from beyond the arc. As a team, they were 5-of-16 for 31 percent, well below their season team average of just under 42 percent. From the field, the Beavers went 28-of-63 and they actually made more free throws (34) than field goals. For the game, Bluffton shot an outstanding 92 percent from the line.
Anthony dropped in a double-double for Bluffton as he had a career-high in both points (26) and rebounds (13). He knocked down 15-of-17 from the charity stripe. Schwieterman tied his career-high with 16 points, including 9-of-9 at the line, while also dishing out five assists. Wilson dropped in 13 points and pulled down a career-high eight boards for Bluffton. Cunningham and Overmyer were the other two Beavers to reach double digits in scoring as they scored 11 and 10 respectively.
Bluffton will travel to face Anderson University on Saturday, January 6, 2007. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. in Anderson, Ind.