2016-17 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 102, Rhodes 100
November 26, 2016
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team lit up the scoreboard in a 102-100 victory at Rhodes College (2-2) on Saturday, Nov. 26. It marks the first 3-0 start for the Beavers since the 2011-12 squad rolled off a 5-0 mark to open the season!
The high-powered Rhodes offense, which averages 116 points per game, jumped out to a 27-21 lead just over seven minutes into the game before a 30-12 Bluffton explosion capped off with an old-fashioned three-point play from Austin Rohde (Shelby) put the visitors up 51-39 at the 4:28 mark of the first half. Rhodes pulled within 58-56 but Rohde made it 60-56 at the break with his late deuce.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half of a game that saw 16 ties. A Rohde make at the stripe put Bluffton up 100-97 with 1:29 to play. Rhodes dialed long distance 14 seconds later, setting up Rohde's game-winning heroics. The senior all-conference performer hit from in close with 11 ticks on the clock and the Beaver defense was again up the task as Bluffton secured its third straight win to start the 2016-17 campaign!
Jared Wentling (Carey) hit 9-of-14 from the field for 19 points to lead six Beavers in double figures. Senior signal-caller Trey Elchert (Jackson Center) showed off his shooting with a 4-of-5 afternoon on triples for a career-high 18 points to go along with his career-best eight dimes! Rohde dropped in 17 and ripped down a career-best nine rebounds. Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) added 12 points, while sophomore Justis Dowdy (Van Wert/Limcolnview) and junior Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) netted career highs with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Beavers were a red-hot 38-of-61 (62.3 percent) from the field, including 24-of-32 (75 percent) in the opening stanza! Bluffton knocked down 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) from distance but struggled at the stripe, hitting 18-of-27 (66.7 percent). Rhodes had even more trouble converting from the line, making just 5-of-16 (31.3 percent) freebies. The visitors turned it over one more time (17-16), but Bluffton pulled down three more rebounds (32-29). Transition defense was up to the task for Bluffton as the Beavers outscored Rhodes 20-12 on fast break points.
The Beavers will jump right back into action on Sunday, Nov. 27, when they take on Millsaps at 1 p.m. Ohio time in Memphis, Tenn.