Bluffton 80, Manchester 67
Bluffton rolls to 80-67 home win over Manchester
By: Brandy Bidlack, sports information assistant
January 9, 2008
BLUFFTON, Ohio -The Bluffton University men's basketball team knocked off HCAC rival Manchester College on Wednesday, January 9, 2008. With the win, the Beavers improved to 9-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, while the Spartans dropped to 3-10 overall and 1-3 in the HCAC.
An offensive rebound and tip-in by junior Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) gave Bluffton the first points in the contest. A feed from Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) resulted in a P.J. Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop) trey, putting the Beavers up 7-2. After another layin by Wilson, Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne) sank a three-pointer at the 15:28 mark for a 14-6 Bluffton lead.
Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) dialed long distance, thanks to a nice look from Ben Shindeldecker (Ohio City/Crestview). Overmyer and Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore) each got to the rack, increasing the Beavers' lead to 27-19.
With just 7:37 left of the first half, Chris Singleton (Ada/Ada) found a wide-open Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) on a back cut, making the score 32-21 in favor of the home team. Colt Cunningham hit a triple and jumper before a trey by freshman Rob Luderman (Defiance/Ayersville). Overmeyer buried his trifecta with six seconds on the clock to give Bluffton a 17-point lead at halftime, 48-31.
To start the second half, Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay) drove to the bucket to put Bluffton on top by a 50-31 count. Manchester responded with an 8-0 run against the home team, including a pair of three-pointers by Mitch Schaefer. To stop the Spartan momentum, Nate Overmyer made a jumper at the 15-minute mark.
A drive by Aaron Taylor and a layup by Wilson upped the Bluffton lead to 62-48. Josh Eichar sank a triple with less than nine minutes left in the game and a bucket by Shindeldecker made the score 71-56. The Beavers hit nine free throws down the stretch to complete the 80-67 victory over the Spartans, Bluffton's first home conference win in three tries.
Colt Cunningham led the way for the Beavers with 19 points. Nate Overmyer and Zack Kraus hit for 13 and 11 points, respectively. Nick Wilson added nine points, while P.J. Juenger chipped in with seven points and seven boards. Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Mitch Schaefer led Manchester with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc and Lorenzo Griffin dished out five assists for the Spartans.
Bluffton went 26-of-47 (55.3 percent) from the field, compared to 24-of-55 (43.6 percent) by Manchester. Manchester hit 10 three-pointers while seven Bluffton players combined to go 8-of-12 on treys (66.7 percent). The Beavers ripped down 14 more rebounds (38-24) than the Spartans. Bluffton went 20-for-27 (74 percent) from the charity stripe, compared to 9-of-18 (50 percent) for Manchester.
The Beavers will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 12, when they travel to face HCAC rival Hanover College. Tip time is slated for 3 p.m.