2017-18 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 85, Defiance 65
February 7, 2018
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team faced off against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets for their final rivalry game of the season. After a convincing 75-47 win on January 10, the Beavers were able to complete the sweep with an 85-65 victory over the other purple school. The win pushes Bluffton to 10-12 overall and 7-8 in conference play, while Defiance slipped to 3-19 and 2-13 in the HCAC. Bluffton's victory capped a 4-0 mark against Defiance by the Beaver basketball teams this season, the first time in school history that both the men and women have swept the Jackets!
ANDREW HUNTER (Arlington) opened up the game for the Beavers, connecting on a three-point shot to put Bluffton up 3-0. After an exchange of baskets, Bluffton would go on an 8-0 run to pull ahead 13-4 with 14:58 left in the half. The teams went back-and-forth for most of the half until the Beavers forged a 31-17 lead with 7:52 on the clock following four consecutive points by KEVIN CHRISTIE (Dayton/Bishop Fenwick). Three Bluffton triples helped put the visitors up 20 (42-22) with just under four minutes to play in the opening stanza. After back-to-back layups by Kevin Christie, the Beavers went into the break with a 48-30 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets cut the lead down to 16, but a Kevin Christie trifecta and a pair of DEZMAN BROWN (Elyria) free throws put Bluffton up 60-39. A 6-0 spurt by the Beavers that included an ANDREW RENNER (Cairo/Bath) three put them up 76-51 at the 8:23 mark of the second half. The two teams would trade baskets but after cutting Bluffton’s lead under 20, the visitors responded with seven straight points off an Andrew Renner jump shot, a JUSTIS DOWDY (Van Wert/Lincolnview) layup and a Dezman Brown three. THAD PHILLIPS (South Bend, IN./Riley) capped the scoring as the senior rolled in a layup to make the final score 85-65 in favor of the good guys!
Andrew Renner led the way for the Beavers, scoring a career-best 23 points with four boards, four assists and four triples while Kevin Christie added 18 to go along with five dimes. Andrew Hunter and Dezman Brown each collected 10 with ISAIAH TAYLOR (Yellow Springs) snagging a team-high 11 rebounds.
Bluffton had a very dominant performance from the floor, hitting 32-of-62 (51.6 percent), including 10-of-20 from behind the arc. While Defiance connected on 23-of-50 (46 percent), the Beavers were able to get the upper hand on the battle of the boards, 33-26. Bluffton’s team chemistry was on point as the Beavers doled out 17 assists on the night, compared to just six for the Jackets.
Bluffton is back on the road Saturday, Feb. 10, when the Beavers travel to play Anderson at 4 p.m. before closing out the three-game road trip at Manchester on Wednesday, Feb. 14, in a Valentine’s Day contest at 7:30 p.m.