2011-12 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 77, Earlham 73
Bluffton keeps Earlham winless with 77-73 win in Founders
January 11, 2012
By: Keisha Holtsberry, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men outscored Earlham in both halves of the game to win 77-73 on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012. Bluffton improved to 9-5 overall and 3-4 in the Heartland Conference, while the Quakers fell to 0-14 and 0-7 in the HCAC.
Bluffton took an early 3-2 lead thanks to a Josh Fisher (Rockford/Parkway) triple with the assist coming from senior Nate Heckelman (Norwalk). Earlham re-took the lead before the Beavers went up by four with a pair of three-pointers from senior Nick Lee (Mt. Blanchard/Vanlue) and a layup by senior Brent Farley (Lima/Shawnee).
Earlham tied the game (13-13) at the 15:50 mark, but the Beavers quickly responded with some separation. Fisher put in his second trey of the night from Lee. Heckelman added two more points to the Beavers' lead with a layin of his own.
A layup by sophomore Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) pushed the spread to 20-13 with 13:46 to play in the half before Earlham retaliated and trimmed the deficit to three just over a minute later. Fisher capped an 11-2 splurge with a jumper which put the Beavers up by 12, their largest lead of the night. Pope powered the run with seven straight points, including a pair of tip-ins.
The Quakers, however, were unfazed as they cut Bluffton's lead to only one at the 1:17 mark. Two foul shots by sophomore Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel) put the Beavers up by three at the break, 39-36.
During the first eight minutes of the second half, the contest was tied seven different times with the lead constantly changing. The game remained knotted at 57 for over a minute before the Beavers went up by a deuce following a Kinn layup at the 9:55 mark.
A trifecta by Lee put the Beavers up by six. Less than a minute later, Fisher drilled two foul shots, stretching Bluffton's lead to eight. Kinn pushed the lead to nine with a foul shot of his own.
The Quakers fought hard for the next four minutes and tied the game with only 40 seconds on the clock. Foul shots proved crucial for the Beavers as the last four points were two Fisher free throws and two Heckelman freebies.
Fisher led the Beavers with 23 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field while Pope and Farley had 11 and 10 points, respectively. Pope paced the Beavers with eight boards in just 16 minutes. Kinn, Farley and Heckelman each pulled down five rebounds. Lee led the Beavers with five assists on the night.
The Beavers went 28-of-56 (50.0 percent) from the field, while Earlham connected on 29-of-63 (46.0 percent) from the field. From the foul line the Beavers were 15-of-21 (71.4 percent) and Earlham hit 4-of-7 (57.1 percent). Bluffton finished 6-of-12 from outside the arc (50.0 percent), compared to a solid 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) for the visitors. The Beavers committed 15 turnovers, two fewer than Earlham.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 14, when the Beavers travel to Anderson University. The contest is slated for 4 p.m.