2015-16 Men's Basketball
Nazareth 80, Bluffton 70
November 20, 2015
By: Ryan Schadewald, sports information assistant
BUFFALO, NY - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team struggled out of the gate and never recovered, falling 80-70 to Nazareth College in the opening round of the Buffalo State Coles Classic on Friday, Nov. 20. Buffalo State beat Villa Maria, 100-91, in the other semifinal contest. The Golden Flyers improved to 3-0 on the season, while the Beavers dropped to 1-1.
Nazareth started the game hot, scoring the first 11 counters and 17 of the first 19 points, stunning the Beavers with a 15-point lead just six minutes in. The Golden Flyer lead was still 12 points at the 9:36 mark when the Beavers made a push, going on a 7-0 spurt thanks to a triple and a deuce from Austin Rohde (Shelby) followed by a Thayne Recker (Arlington) bucket and Bluffton was within five (24-19) at the 7:33 mark. Nazareth pushed it back to double digits late in the half before Rohde hit a three to end the stanza and trim the deficit to 39-31 at the break.
After the Golden Flyers went up 12 points with 16:03 left, back-to-back deep balls from Jared Wentling (Carey) and Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) cut the Nazareth lead to six and the Beavers were back in the game. But that did not last long as Nazareth quickly pulled away, pushing their second half lead to as high as 19 points, leading 68-49 with 6:39 to play. The Beavers battled back to make the final a more respectable 80-70.
Bluffton struggled from the floor, shooting 43.1 percent on 25-of-58 from the field. The Beavers shot 32.1 percent (9-of-28) from beyond the arc and 68.8 percent (11-of-16) at the free throw line. Nazareth finished 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the floor, 33.3 percent from deep (3-of-9) and 82.1 percent (23-of-28) at the stripe. The Beavers had a slight rebounding edge, 36-35, but committed seven more turnovers than Nazareth (13-6).
Bluffton put two in double figures, led by pre-season All-American Thayne Recker’s 23 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 7-of-8 from the line. Recker added six boards and three blocks. Austin Rohde chipped in 17 markers and four rebounds. Freshman Jared Wentling finished just shy of his first double-double, scoring nine and grabbing 10 boards. Nazareth was balanced with four in double figures, led by Mitch Ford’s 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Beavers wrap up their stay in upstate New York with the consolation tilt of the Coles Classic, facing Villa Maria on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m.