Bluffton 55, Rose-Hulman 52
Bluffton wins sixth straight with 55-52 victory at Rose-Hulman
December 6, 2008
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team continued its outstanding play on the defensive end with a 55-52 victory at Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008. With the victory, Bluffton's sixth straight after a season-opening loss to Capital, the Beavers improved to 6-1 overall and 2-0 in the Heartland Conference. Rose fell to 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in HCAC play.
Despite going scoreless during the first five minutes of the game, Bluffton trailed just 4-2 after Aaron Taylor (Antwerp) got free in the paint at the 15:04 mark. Four straight hoops by senior Nick Wilson (Continental), including his only triple of the game, put the Beavers up 13-8 midway through the first half.
A Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) trifecta along with a pair of Aaron Taylor buckets allowed the Beavers to build a commanding 25-13 lead over the home team late in the half. Rose outscored the Beavers 9-2 over the final four minutes of the first period to cut the deficit to five points (27-22) at the break.
A pair of Josiah Stober (Spencerville) three-pointers sandwiched around an Aaron Taylor deuce to start the second half helped Bluffton open up a 35-24 margin over RHIT with 15:56 to play.
Rose began to chip away at the Bluffton lead and the Engineers were within four points (40-36) following consecutive Jeff McCartney triples at the 12:04 mark. Colt Cunningham (Powell/Worthington Christian) responded with a trifecta, but Lorenzo Rice converted three straight freebies to keep the Engineers within striking distance.
Steve Ricks knotted the game at 43 following his second straight hoop in the paint with 4:37 to play in the second half. An 8-0 Bluffton spurt, fueled by four points from Cunningham, made it 51-43 with 49 seconds on the clock.
RHIT cut it to four with 32 seconds left before Taylor made it a six-point game following a pair of makes from the charity stripe. McCartney hit another three-ball, but Josh Eichar nailed down the victory with two tosses from the foul line as Bluffton squeaked out a 55-52 win over the Engineers.
Nick Wilson paced the Beavers with 13 points and seven rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Eichar and Cunningham both chipped in with 11 points each while Taylor added 10 points. Eichar led Bluffton with three steals and two assists. He also pulled down seven caroms in the victory.
The Beavers finished with a 33-23 advantage on the glass while hitting 19-of-46 (41.3 percent) from the field. The two teams combined for 37 turnovers, with Bluffton committing 19 miscues against the tight Rose-Hulman defense.
Jeff McCartney led the Engineers with 16 points on 4-of-8 shooting from distance. Lorenzo Rice and Daniel Lowers added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, December 13, when the Beavers welcome Franklin College for a Heartland Conference tussle. The contest is slated to tip at 4 p.m. following the Bluffton-Rose women's tilt.