Franklin 93, Bluffton 76
Beavers drop fourth straight road contest, 93-76, at Franklin
January 20, 2007
FRANKLIN, Ind - The Bluffton University men's basketball team continued to struggle on the road, falling at Franklin College by a final score of 93-76 on Saturday, January 20, 2007. The Beavers fell to 13-5, 5-4 HCAC following their fourth consecutive road setback after opening HCAC play with a spotless 4-0 mark. Franklin improved to 9-8 overall with an identical 5-4 record in the Heartland Conference.
An Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) layup put the Beavers on top, 6-2, two minutes into the contest, but Bluffton's lead was short lived as Franklin put together a 34-11 spurt over the next 12 minutes to quash any thoughts that the Beavers would end their road woes. The run gave the Grizzlies a 36-17 lead with just under six minutes to play in the first half.
Schwieterman tried to slow Franklin's momentum when he took the defensive board coast-to-coast for an old fashioned three-point play and Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) followed with a pair of makes from the free throw line, cutting the deficit to 14 points.
Sophomore Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) and senior David Patch (Minster/Minster) found the hoop with the first period winding down to cut into Franklin's advantage at the half as Bluffton pulled within 11 points, 43-32, at the half.
Senior Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's), who was held scoreless throughout the entire first half, opened the second frame with a jumper to close the margin to nine points.
Franklin's Jace Redman followed Luke Tudor's deep triple with a jumper at the 16:33 mark to give Franklin a 54-37 lead over the visiting Beavers.
Freshman Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay) capped a six-point Bluffton run with a jumper that cut the deficit to 11 points.
Bluffton again cut the Grizzlies' lead to 11 points thanks to six points from Mike Anthony during a three-minute stretch midway through the second half.
The Beavers found themselves down by as many as 21 points with 5:17 to play when Cunningham drained consecutive triples to give Bluffton hope for a miraculous comeback. Senior Tom Heil (Stow/Archbishop Hoban) hit a pair of baskets in the final minute of the game, but 17 points was as close as the Beavers got as Franklin picked up the series split with the Beavers, 93-76.
For the second straight game, Bluffton struggled to stop its opponent on the defensive end, allowing the Grizzlies to shoot a superb 60 percent from the field (29-of-48), including 9-of-16 from outside the arc (56 percent). The Beavers were on as well, knocking down 30-of-57 shots for 53 percent from the field. Franklin buried 17-of-25 shots (68 percent) in the second half. The Grizzlies also won the battle on the boards, pulling down 29 rebounds compared to 24 for the Beavers.
Franklin placed six players in double digits, the second time in as many games that the Beavers' defense allowed that to happen. Jace Redman led the Grizzlies with 17 points. Luke Tudor and Jon Neill both chipped in with 15 points despite coming off the bench.
Colt Cunningham led the Beavers with 19 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field; 3-of-4 from long distance. Sophomore Aaron Taylor once again provided the spark off the bench, scoring 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Junior post PJ Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) hauled in five rebounds and Mike Anthony picked up three steals.
Bluffton returns to Founders Hall to face Rose-Hulman in the second game of the Community Day doubleheader on January 27, 2007, as the Beavers will try to return to their winning ways after a stretch of four losses in the past five contests. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. and it will follow the completion of the women's game.