North Central 63, Bluffton 49
Beavers fall to host North Central in Tip-Off finals, 63-49
November 18, 2006
NAPERVILLE, Ill.- The Bluffton University men's basketball team fell to host North Central, 63-49, in a defensive battle in the finals of the North Central Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday, November 18, 2006. After an 81-65 victory in the opening game against Cardinal Stritch, the Beavers now stand at 1-1 while North Central improved to 2-0.
Following a pair of North Central baskets, the Beavers took their only lead of the game, 6-4, thanks to triples from Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. John's) and Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace).
The Cardinals strung together nine consecutive points before sophomore center Josiah Stober (Spencerville/Spencerville) freed himself in the paint. Another Overmyer three-pointer trimmed the deficit to four points, 15-11, with ten minutes to play in the first half, but North Central scored the next eight points, six from Cardinals' standout Anthony Simmons, to open up a 12-point lead at the seven minute mark.
Consecutive threes from Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) and Overmyer made it a four-point game, 23-19, but North Central outscored the Beavers, 11-4, over the final five minutes of the half to take a 34-23 lead at the break.
PJ Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) nailed a triple to open the second half before the Cardianls rolled off seven consecutive points to open up a 41-26 lead with 15:43 to play.
The Beavers used six straight Juenger points to whittle the North Central advantage to two points, 43-41, with less than eight minutes left in the game. That was as close as Bluffton could get. The Cardinals responded with a 10-2 run which left the Beavers down by 10 points at the five minute mark and forced a Bluffton timeout.
The Cardinals, who returned much of their squad which finished 2005-06 ranked 19th nationally, limited Bluffton's opportunities late in the game as they were crowned tournament champions following their 63-49 victory over the Beavers.
Leading the Beavers on the evening was junior Nate Overmyer, who drilled 5-of-6 three-pointers on his way to a team-high 18 points. Junior PJ Juenger was the only other Beaver in double digits as he chipped in with 11 points. Josiah Stober knocked down three of his four shot attempts for six points. Mike Anthony, who put up 23 points in the semifinals, was named to the All-Tournament team for his efforts over the weekend.
Bluffton shooters were hot from outside for the second consecutive game, knocking down 8-of-19 triples for 42 percent, but the Cardinals won the battle on the boards, tallying 40 rebounds compared to only 27 for Bluffton.
The Beavers return to action on Tuesday, November 21, when they travel to face Earlham College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.