Illinois College takes McDonald's consolation contest over Beavers
December 30, 2009
By: Evan Miller, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Illinois College Blue Boys shut down the Beavers in the consolation
game of the 2009 McDonald's of Bluffton Holiday Tournament, 65-50, on December 30.
It marked the first time in six years that Bluffton has been unable to walk away with
the title after five consecutive championships. Bluffton's record now stands at 0-12
while the Blue Boys improved to 7-3.
After falling behind early, the Beavers tied the game at five with a Mychal Hill (London/Jon. Alder) three-pointer from Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) at the 18:09 mark. The Beavers took their first lead of the game at
7-5 a minute later when Farley picked up a steal and found Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) who pushed the ball up the court and hit senior Jordan Pothast (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) for a layup.
The fourth tie (11-11) of the night came at the 12:36 mark when Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) got to the rack. The Beavers went up 16-11 following another basket
by Josh Fisher. This time he stepped back and connected from beyond the arc thanks
to a slick feed from Orry Moughler (Butler, Ind./Eastside).
Bluffton's lead dipped to two points (16-14) with 10:08 left in the half after a jumper
by Jacob Tucker. That lead would be the last for Bluffton as Illinois College went up by three at
the 6:23 mark following a Craig Bals layup.
For the second straight game, the Beavers struggled near the end of the half as the
Blue Boys went on a 16-7 run during the final 6:34 of the period. Jacob Tucker's three-pointer at the buzzer gave Illinois College a comfortable 39-27 lead at the
Brent Farley got to the free throw line on Bluffton's first possession of the second
half and split the pair of freebies, making the score 39-28 in favor of the Blue Boys.
On Bluffton's next possession Nick Lee connected with Fisher for a three-pointer to
get the deficit back to single digits, 39-31.
With 11:29 left, Scott Schnipke (Kalida) came off the bench and converted two free throws to make it an eight-point
game (48-40). The Blue Boys responded to the challenge, this time using the triple
as their primary weapon. Craig Bals hit a three at the 7:41 mark, and a minute later
Jacob Tucker extended the lead (57-41) with a trifecta of his own.
The Beavers pulled within 11 (61-50) at the 3:17 mark with a Tyler Braidic (Pandora/Gilboa) three-pointer, but that was the last bucket the Beavers hit as Illinois
cruised to the 65-50 win.
Josh Eichar (North Baltimore) led Bluffton in scoring, dropping in 12 points on 4-7 shooting
from the floor. Brent Farley had another solid all-around game with 11 points, three
assists, two blocks, three steals and a team-high eight rebounds. For his efforts,
Farley was named to the McDonald's All-Tournament Team. Nick Lee led the team in assists
with four. The Beavers attempted 25 threes, connecting on just 7 of them for 28 percent.
The Blue Boys were paced by Jacob Tucker with 18 points. Devin Gilman, David Stewart and Jacob Tucker grabbed nine rebounds apiece. Nathan Kohler handed out a team-high five assists in the game. Craig Bals, who scored 20 in the
loss to Goshen and 15 in Wednesday's win over Bluffton, was named to the All-Tournament
Also named to the All-Tournament Team were MVP Erick McCollum II and Nate West Jr. from tournament champion Goshen and Kraig Unger and Tevenn Jones from UC-Clermont. McCollum torched the competition with a tournament-record 36 points
on 11-of-20 shooting in the final. He was 4-of-9 on triples and 10-of-11 at the line.
The senior guard pulled down a game-high 15 caroms, dished out seven assists, blocked
four shots, came up with four steals and threw down a dunk for good measure in the
championship game. McCollum's 34 points in the semifinal victory gave him 70 total
points on 24-of-42 shooting, including a 7-of-14 performance from distance on Tuesday
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, January 2, 2010, when they travel to Kalamazoo
College for a contest scheduled to start at 3 p.m.