2012-13 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 65, Manchester 52
Bluffton handles Manchester 65-52 to complete season sweep
February 6, 2013
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball hit the road on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and they defeated the Manchester University Spartans, 65-52, in a Heartland Conference battle. The Beavers improved to 10-12 and 6-9 in HCAC play, while the Spartans dropped to 4-18 and 1-14 in HCAC play. Bluffton's win was crucial as it pulled the Beavers into a tie with Mount St. Joseph for the sixth and final spot in the upcoming HCAC tournament. The Beavers also moved a game ahead of Anderson after the Ravens fell at Hanover.
The Spartans started the game hot, opening on a 9-0 run. The spurt was broken at the 15:51 mark on a freebie by Thayne Recker (Arlington). His counter led to an 8-0 jag for the Beavers, including a layin by Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee), a three-ball from Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) and another deuce from Pope.
The Beavers were able to tie the game at 12 on a layup by Recker. However, a 7-1 run for the home team pushed their lead to 19-13 at the 6:44 mark of the first half. A jumper from Fisher and a make from beyond the arc by Nate Chambers (Miamisburg) cut the home team's lead back to one point.
A three-ball from Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Delphos Jefferson) gave the Beavers their first lead of the contest (23-21) at the 3:55 mark of the first half. After a trey from Manchester's Silas Sims tied the game, Chambers drained another deep ball and Recker hit a free throw to give the Beavers a four-point lead. Following a deuce from Manchester's Jared Schrock, Chambers came back and hit a buzzer-beating jumper to end the half and give the Beavers a 29-25 lead going into the lockerroom.
After Manchester scored the opening bucket of the second half, the Beavers virtually put the game away by going on an 8-0 run. The run was started by a hoop from Pope, followed by a deuce from Kinn, and two more Pope chip shots which made the lead 39-27 at the 15:30 mark. Manchester countered with a layup, but the run for the road team continued from there on a jumper from Chambers.
Back-to-back makes from beyond the arc by freshman Billy Taflinger (Lima/Central Catholic) extended the Beaver lead to 18 midway through the final stanza. Manchester's Keith Berry scored a deuce to cut the lead to 16. The road team continued to pile on more, however, as Kinn would score four straight points to push the Beaver lead to 20 points.
The lead went as high as 23 points at the 6:12 mark. Manchester would try to make one last run at the Beavers when they scored nine unanswered late in the game, trimming their deficit to 12 points in the final minute with Bluffton's bench getting some extended action. The game would end on a deuce from Dillon Long (Rockford/Parkway) as the Beavers capped their 65-52 win.
Bluffton had three players in double figures, led by Will Pope who scored 14 points and added eight boards. Dustin Kinn also scored 14 points for the Beavers, while freshman Nate Chambers added a career-high 13 markers off the bench. Senior Josh Fisher handed out a career-high eight assists in the win. Thayne Recker also scored eight points and grabbed eight boards for the visitors. Manchester was led by Brady Dolezal who tallied 14 points in a losing effort.
The Beavers were able to win the battle of the boards convincingly, 35-23. Bluffton hit an outstanding 53.1 percent (26-of-49) from the field, including 65.2 percent (15-of-23) in the second half. The home team also shot 58.3 percent (7-of-12) from beyond the arc. Manchester countered with just 41.2 percent (21-of-51) for the contest. Bluffton was also able to take advantage of its height advantage, outscoring the Spartans 32-22 in the paint, and 14-2 off offensive rebounds.
The Bluffton men will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 3 p.m. against the Hanover College Panthers in the Sommer Center following the women's game at 1 p.m.