2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 97, Rust 94 (3 OT)
Beavers knock off Rust 97-94 in triple overtime
November 20, 2011
ST LOUIS, Mo. - One night after Bluffton took down tournament host Webster in overtime for Coach Neal's 250th career victory, the Beavers made sure everyone got their money's worth when they downed Rust College 97-94 in three overtimes. It marked the first time a Bluffton men's basketball team has played in triple overtime. Bluffton opened the year 2-0 for the second consecutive season as it played an extra half of basketball over the weekend at the Cavallo Classic. Rust dropped to 0-2 after losses to Maryville and Bluffton.
After two extra periods that failed to determine a victor, four points from sophomore post Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) put the Beavers up 94-91 with 2:15 on the clock. Senior Nate Heckelman (Norwalk) beat the shot clock, making the score 96-91 before a Shun Thompson hoop and harm pulled Rust within two. Josh Johnson's (Ottawa-Glandorf) free throw with two seconds left finally ended the marathon weekend for Bluffton.
Three pointers by Nick Lee (Vanlue) and Mychal Hill (London/Jonathan Alder) propelled Bluffton to a 12-3 lead just over three minutes into the game. A Dustin Kinn bucket and Josh Johnson deep ball made the score 17-11 with 14:30 to play in the opening stanza. Tyler Neal (Bluffton) followed with a triple and Will Pope (Camden/Preble Shawnee) added a pair from the charity stripe as the Beavers opened a 22-11 margin.
An old-fashioned three-point play from Steve Swick (Elida) followed by hoops from Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee) and Kinn gave Bluffton a comfortable 29-14 advantage midway through the half. Rust responded with seven straight counters and when Markeith Wilson dialed long distance at the 3:43 mark, Bluffton's lead was down to three points. Trifectas from Johnson and Lee pushed the Beavers' lead to seven (43-36) at the break.
Rust chipped away at the Bluffton lead until the visitors on the scoreboard took their first lead of the night with 12:50 to play when Wilson again hit from deep. Johnson answered with another triple for a 54-53 lead 25 seconds later. Two more Wilson three-pointers gave Rust a one-point advantage with 7:53 on the clock before Farley dropped in a deuce for the Beavers. The lead went back and forth until a Patrick Stokes free throw with 37 seconds left in regulation knotted the game at 73.
Bluffton led by three in the first overtime with just 17 seconds left, but four Rust free throws sent the game into double overtime. Rust took control in the second extra session, going out to an 88-84 lead at the 2:46 mark, but six straight Dustin Kinn points turned the tables. Following a Bluffton foul on a missed shot by the Beavers, Wilson drilled both of his charity tosses to make triple overtime a necessity.
Kinn turned in his second monster performance in as many days when he went for a career-high 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 at the line. He scored a then career-best 21 points in Bluffton's win over Webster on Saturday evening. Farley and Lee both chipped in 15 points, while Johnson and Pope added 10 points apiece as the Beavers put five players in double figures. Farley and Pope just missed out on double-doubles with nine and eight rebounds, respectively.
The Beavers struggled from the field, hitting just 26-of-76 atempts (34.2 percent), but Bluffton drained 36-of-48 (75 percent) at the foul line to make up for it. Both teams came down with 47 rebounds, while Bluffton turned it over four more times (19-15) than Rust did.
Bluffton returns to action when it welcomes Ohio Mid-Western to Founders Hall for the home opener on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The contest is slated to start at 7 p.m.