Bluffton 67, Rose-Hulman 59
Men complete Bluffton basketball sweep at Rose-Hulman, 67-59
December 8, 2007
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team capped off a doubleheader sweep at Rose-Hulman with a 67-59 win over the Engineers on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2007. The Beavers improved to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the Heartland Conference with their second HCAC road victory in two games. Rose dropped to 2-6 on the season with a 1-2 mark in the HCAC.
Senior P.J. Juenger (Loveland/Archbishop Moeller) put Bluffton on the scoreboard first, taking advantage of a Josh Eichar (North Baltimore/North Baltimore) steal and assist as he drained a three-pointer less than 30 seconds into the contest.
Daniel Lowers and Ron George, who led the Engineers with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, combined for five Rose-Hulman points before Bluffton rolled off seven consecutive points to take a 10-5 lead over the home team with 13:45 to play in the opening half. Aaron Taylor (Antwerp/Antwerp) capped the run with an old-fashioned three-point play.
Following a pair of Justin Rufenacht (Wauseon/Pettisville) makes from the charity stripe and a three-point play by sophomore Zack Kraus (Findlay/Findlay), the Beavers had their largest lead of the first half, 19-11, with 10:10 to play in period one.
Rufenacht connected on two more freebies at the 8:44 mark to make it a seven-point game before three straight Rose-Hulman hoops cut the Bluffton lead to a single point with 4:45 on the clock.
Senior Nate Overmyer (Payne/Wayne Trace) got hot and hit three consecutive baskets, including a three-pointer, to help Bluffton stay on top late in the half. Freshman Ben Shindeldecker (Ohio City/Crestview) knocked down a pair of throws from the stripe with only three seconds to play in the opening half to give Bluffton a 30-25 lead at the break.
Ron George scored four Rose-Hulman points to open the second half, but Overmyer and Eichar combined to net 11 of Bluffton's first 13 points in period two as the Beavers opened up a 12-point spread, 43-31, with 15:47 to play.
When Lowers buried a jumper following another Ron George layin, Rose was within six points at the 13:03 mark of the second half and the Beavers were forced to call a quick 30-second timeout.
Taylor and Nick Wilson (Continental/Continental) responded for Bluffton, getting to the glass for baskets in the paint. Shindeldecker followed with a layup and the Beavers were back up by 10 points midway through the second half.
With the Engineers trying to cut into the Bluffton lead, Kraus silenced the home crowd by slicing his way to the hoop for four buckets in the final seven minutes of the contest to help the Beavers pick up their second straight HCAC road victory of the season after going only 2-6 in the conference away from Founders a year ago.
Overmyer again led the Beavers with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, including 2-of-4 on threes. He was a perfect 4-for-4 at the free throw line as Bluffton hit 16-of-17 (94.1 percent) foul shots for the game. Kraus was the only other Beaver in double digits, hitting 5-of-10 shots for 11 points. He also led Bluffton with five rebounds. Eichar picked up a game-high four steals and added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting. Overmyer led the Beavers with three assists. Taylor and Colt Cunningham (Worthington/Christian) chipped in with seven and six points, respectively.
Bluffton finished the game 24-of-48 (50 percent) from the field, including 14-for-23 (60.9 percent) in the final 20 minutes of action. Both teams took 17 shots from the foul line but Bluffton knocked down 16, compared to 11 for the Engineers. The Beavers picked up 12 steals, six more than Rose.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 15, when they welcome Adrian College to Founders Hall for a non-conference battle. The game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.