Transylvania 79, Bluffton 64
Beavers wrap up season with 79-64 loss at Transylvania
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
February 23, 2008
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bluffton University men's basketball team saw their chances at an appearance in the Heartland Conference tournament disappear as the Beavers fell at Transylvania, 79-64, on Saturday, February 23, 2008. The Pioneers took the win in impressive fashion, gaining the lead early on and never relinquishing it. The loss dropped Bluffton to 13-12 overall, and 7-9 in the HCAC. Transy upped its record to 15-10, with a 10-6 mark in the HCAC.
Transylvania jumped out to a quick 10-2 lead, capped off by a Tim Tierney three-pointer less than four minutes into the game. P.J. Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) responded with his lone triple of the afternoon, cutting the deficit to five points.
The Pioneers extended their lead to 11 following a Matthew Parton three-pointer, making the score 16-5 with 14:58 in the first half. At the 12:43 mark Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) dialed long distance, thanks to an assist from Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore), making the score 23-11. Overmyer, who came off the bench for Bluffton, poured in a team-high 22 points in 29 minutes.
Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) freed himself in the paint for a score thanks to nice feed from Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian), making the score 25-13 in favor of the Pioneers with 11:10 on the clock. Minutes later, the Pioneers pushed their lead to 15 with a Brock Jones offensive rebound and putback.
The Beavers saw their deficit jump to 20 points late in the first half by way of a Stephen Gabbard trey as his hoop made the score 39-19 with just under three minutes left in the half. Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) split a pair of free throws, scoring Bluffton's final point of the half with 1:24 left. Bluffton went to the break trailing 41-24.
The Pioneers opened up the second half with a quick layup, but Bluffton went on a scoring run led by Nate Overmyer to get back into the game. He tipped in a missed Juenger three-pointer, and then hit a three pointer of his own from Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay), who led Bluffton with five assists, on the team's next possession. The Overmyer trifecta cut the deficit to 11, 43-32, just over three minutes into the second half. Bluffton got within 10 points when Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) hit one of two free throws.
At the 13:31 mark, Transy extended the lead to 52-38 with another three-ball, this one coming from Aaron Cash. Minutes later Cash got to the rack, pushing Transy's lead to 63-46 with 8:05 left in the game.
With 2:28 left, Kraus picked up another assist, finding teammate Nick Wilson for a jumper which made the score 73-59 in favor of the home team. To end the game, freshman Rob Luderman (Defiance/Ayersville) converted a hoop and harm, but it was too little, too late as Bluffton fell by a final count of 79-64.
The Beavers had three players finish with double digits in the scoring department. Nate Overmyer lit up the Pioneers for 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting from long range. Josh Eichar and Nick Wilson both chipped in with 10. Overmyer also led the Beavers in rebounds, tying his career-high with six. Zack Kraus had five of the team's 13 assists.
Bluffton was 18-of-44 from the field for 40.9 percent, compared to Transylvania which hit 27-of-47 for 57.4 percent. Both teams made eight triples in the game. Bluffton went 20-of-25 (80 percent) at the line, while the Pioneers hit 17-of-21 freebies (81 percent).
Joey Verax led five Pioneers in double digits with 16 points. Aaron Cash and Matthew Parton added 14 and 13 points, respectively. Tim Tierney chipped in with 12 points, four assists and four steals. The Pioneers will now host Rose-Hulman in the first round of the HCAC tournament on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2008.