2017-18 Men's Basketball
Bluffton 94, OSU-Lima 57
December 29, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men’s basketball team returned to its home court to close out the 2017 year while hosting the 20th annual McDonalds of Bluffton Holiday Tournament. They kicked off the tourney against the OSU-Lima Barons and after a hot start, the Beavers methodically marched to a 94-57 win while improving to 4-6 on the season.
Bluffton jumped out to a 29-8 lead after freshman AARON RICH (Greenville) scored four straight points with 8:46 to go in the half. With two minutes on the clock, DEZMAN BROWN (Elyria) knocked down a three and RONNIE JAMES (Twinsburg/Benedictine) followed with a triple of his own as Bluffton rolled to a 48-16 lead at the break.
The Beavers opened up the second half by scoring nine straight points from four different players. Leading 73-39 with 8:10 left in regulation, Dezman Brown converted two straight buckets off assists from senior captain KEVIN CHRSITIE (Dayton/Bishop Fenwick) to give Bluffton a commanding 78-39 lead. The Barons would get the edge in the final seven minutes, outscoring the Beavers 18-16 but the hosts cruised to a 94-57 win.
It was a great day for the Bluffton offense as every single player that entered the game for the Beavers tallied a point. Freshman Aaron Rich and sophomore ISAIAH TAYLOR (Yellow Springs) combined for 30 points on 14-of-18 from the floor. Taylor was 7-of-8 for a career-high 15 markers. Kevin Christie did a little bit of everything as the senior picked up six points, grabbed seven boards and dished out eight assists. Also contributing for Bluffton was Dezman Brown who scored a career-best 13 and JUSTIS DOWDY (Van Wert/Lincolnview) who added 11 and snatched six rebounds.
The Beavers had one of their best games shooting the rock as they knocked down 40-of-69 (58 percent) shots while OSU-Lima struggled, shooting 38.6 percent (22-of-57). Bluffton was all over the glass as they won the rebounding battle, 47-20. The bench presence played a massive impact as the Beavers bench outscored the Barons reserves by a 54-8 margin. Dishing out 25 assists as a team, the home team also forced the visitors to cough the ball up 14 times to just nine turnovers for Bluffton.
Bluffton will close out 2017 with a matchup against Illinois College in the championship game of the McDonalds Holiday tournament with tip-off set for 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 30. The Blueboys downed Pitt-Greensburg 81-73 on Friday afternoon.