2006-07 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 76, UC Clermont 74
Beavers claim third straight McDonald's championship with win over UC Clermont
By Shannon Ramer and Jordon Bruner, sports information assistants
December 30, 2006
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers defeated UC Clermont to claim the McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament championship in Founders Hall. Clutch shooting down the stretch helped the Beavers to a 76-74 victory over Clermont. Bluffton improved to 11-1 with its 10th straight win and third consecutive McDonald's championship while Clermont fell to 10-9.
Bluffton jumped out to an early 11-6 run behind the shooting of tournament MVP Mike Anthony (Ohio City/Delphos St. Johns) as he buried two consecutive shots.
The Cougars used a three from Seth Steele to take a 22-20 lead with seven minutes left in the first half. The two teams went back in forth trading baskets until Brad Hosler scored two of his 12 first-half points to give Clermont a 31-30 lead.
Another basket by Steele and a free throw by Hosler gave the Cougars a four-point advantage just before halftime. With just a few ticks left on the clock, junior Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) pulled up just past the timeline and drilled a three to make the score 34-33 in favor of Clermont at the break.
Bluffton continued its second half domination as the Beavers went on a 19-8 run to start the second half and take a 52-42 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the contest. Anthony continued to be the team's go-to-guy as he dropped in nine points during that stretch.
The Cougars, behind the inside-out tandem of Hosler and John Stone, cut the lead in half with six minutes to play. Back-to-back buckets by Hosler and two Stone triples made the score 64-59 in favor of Bluffton.
Overmyer and sophomore Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) hit big shots with the game hanging in the balance to help the Beavers hold off a late surge by Clermont. Overmyer hit two of his career-high six three-pointers in the last two minutes, while Cunningham dropped in two free throws and a jumper in traffic.
The Beavers were able to get to the line in the second half as they were 11-of-15 after being limited to four attempts in the first half. As a team they shot 45 percent from the field, including 42 percent from downtown.
Overmyer came off the bench to lead Bluffton in scoring with 19 points, shooting 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Anthony dropped in 18 points, while also pulling down a team-high six rebounds. Cunningham was the only other Beaver to reach double figures in scoring as he put up 15 on 6-of-12 shooting. Eric Schwieterman (St. Henry/St. Henry) and junior P.J. Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) contributed with nine and eight points respectively.
Bluffton is set to face HCAC rival Transylvania on Wednesday, January 3, 2006. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.