2017-18 Men's Basketball
Transylvania 81, Bluffton 67
January 20, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Bluffton University men's basketball squad headed south on Interstate 75 to take on the Transylvania University Pioneers. Despite a strong start by the Beavers, Transylvania took control in the second half to defeat the visitors, 81-67. Bluffton stands 8-9 overall (5-5 HCAC), while the Pioneers improved to 13-4 and 8-2 in the conference.
After freshman AARON RICH (Greenville) hit from in close for a 2-0 lead, the Pioneers responded with a 10-2 run. The teams would trade baskets for much of the first half. Bluffton opened a five-point lead after NICK TAFLINGER'S (Lima/Central Catholic) lay-in made it 22-17 with 6:54 left in the half. Transylvania knotted the game up at 27 before they closed the half on a 14-2 run to take a 41-29 advantage at the break.
An ANDREW RENNER (Cairo/Bath) jumper made the score 54-43, but the Pioneers used an 8-2 spurt to push their lead to 17 with 12:04 remaining in regulation. The home team led by as many as 20 before the Beavers converted six straight free throws to make it 67-53. Despite the Pioneers pushing the lead back up to 19, layups by ISAIAH TAYLOR (Yellow Springs) and Aaron Rich kept the Beavers within striking distance.
After Transylvania took a 74-57 lead with 3:58 left in the game, a triple by KEVIN CHRISTIE (Dayton/Bishop Fenwick) and three points from Aaron Rich cut the gap to 12. An 11-point deficit was the closest the Beavers could get as they fell to the Pioneers by an 81-67 final.
Leading the way for Bluffton was Aaron Rich who dropped a career high 21 points on 8-of-12 from the field to go along with four boards. Kevin Christie added nine points while dishing out four assists and Isaiah Taylor chipped in eight points, four assists and five rebounds.
The Beavers knocked down 45.1 percent of their shots from the field (23-of-51) while the home team hit 48.9 percent (23-of-47) from the floor. While Bluffton was able to get the edge in the rebounding battle (34-26), they struggled to control the basketball, coughing it up 15 times which led to 16 points for the Pioneers.
The Beavers will look to get back in the win column when they travel to Richmond, Ind. to face off against Earlham College with a tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24.