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Thursday, January 17, 2013 1:59 PM

Bluffton wins third straight with 92-61 drubbing of Manchester
By Ryan Schadewald
Sports information assistant
BLUFFTON — The Bluffton University men’s basketball team rolled off its third straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory of over 20 points with a convincing 92-61 shellacking of Manchester University on Wednesday.

The Beavers improved to 7-9 overall and 3-6 in the Heartland Conference, while Manchester dropped to 4-12 and 1-8 in the HCAC.

The visitors used three early free throws to go up 5-2 at the 17:30 mark before 14 unanswered points by Bluffton set the tone for the rest of the contest. Freshman Thayne Recker (Arlington) scored four points during the spurt as Bluffton went up 16-5 at the 13:21 mark. The lead mushroomed to 21 (40-19) over the next 10 minutes thanks to the inside work of Will Pope (Somerville/Preble Shawnee) and Dustin Kinn (Alvada/New Riegel), as well as a pair of Josh Johnson (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) triples.

Johnson’s outside shooting was key to the first half as he drilled four 3-pointers in the opening half to help carry the home team. The lead was still 20 points following a pair of free throws by Kinn at the 4:13 mark of the first half. However, Manchester was able to trim the deficit to 16 by halftime as the Spartans hit 5-of-6 free throws during the final 1:18.

The visitors cut the lead to 13 early in the second half, but the Beavers were able to pull away once again, this time with a 5-point spurt from Pope to push the lead back to 18 at the 17:34 mark. Bluffton was up 62-44 at the 13:15 mark when the home team went on another run, starting with jumpers by sophomore Ryan Ebbeskotte (Fort Jennings/Jefferson) and Nate Chambers (Miamisburg) and capped with back-to-back makes from beyond the arc by both of them.

With Bluffton up 72-44 at the 9:44 mark, the home squad never looked back en route to the 31-point win. All 16 Beavers got into the action for the third straight game with each one playing at least three minutes in the victory.

The Beavers were led by Pope who scored 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field. He also pulled down four boards. Johnson contributed 16 points, including a stellar 4-for-6 shooting night from beyond the arc. Kinn scored 13 points, on 5-for-6 shooting, while adding seven rebounds, three assists and a career-best four steals in the win. Recker added 11 points on a perfect 4-of-4 from the field in just 14 minutes of action. Ebbeskotte tallied seven points for the Beavers, while dishing out a career-high eight dimes.

It was an excellent shooting night for the home team as they hit 55.6 percent (35-for-63) from the floor, including 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) from beyond the arc, and 12-for-16 (75 percent) at the foul line. The Beavers outrebounded the Spartans 33-23 and finished with 18 more assists (27-9). Bluffton turned it over a season-low seven times against the visitors.

The Beavers will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday to take on the nationally-ranked Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Engineers in a doubleheader with the women’s team. The men’s game will begin at 3 p.m. Bluffton’s next contest in the Sommer Center will be Wednesday against the Earlham College Quakers at 7:30 p.m.
Lady Beavers rally from 24 down for 78-73 win at Manchester
By Jordan Marbaugh,
Sports information assistant

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University women’s basketball team overcame a 24-point deficit in the second half to stun Manchester 78-73 on Wednesday.

The Beavers improved to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the Heartland Conference with their third straight victory. Manchester fell to 6-10 on the year and 5-4 in the HCAC.

Manchester got the game started with 10 unanswered points before Bluffton called a timeout to break the momentum. Following the quick respite, Lauren Hutton (New Riegel) got the Beavers on the scoreboard with a layup off an assist from Brooke Ruffer (Stryker). However, Manchester continued to control the action, forcing another Bluffton timeout with the Spartans up 21-9 at the 11:35 mark.

The Beavers were able to close the gap to eight with 7:10 on the clock following a pair of Ruffer free throws, making the score 25-17. Manchester closed the first half on a 14-5 run to make the halftime score 39-22.

A jumper by Manchester with 17:23 left gave the home team its largest lead of the night at 24 (49-25). A hoop-and-harm by Hutton was the start of the Beaver comeback. Following a steal by Ruffer, Rachel Debord (Lebanon) hit a three which resulted in Manchester calling time as the score sat at 49-31.

Out of the timeout, Hutton came up with a steal and freshman Taylor Whitaker (Mansfield/Lexington) hit from distance, closing the gap to 15 with 15:43 left. A jumper by Ruffer with just under nine minutes to play gave the Beavers the lead for the first time as their 28-2 run put them up 53-51.

Two free throws by the Spartans tied it at 53 before a 3-ball from Brenna Kurilec (Mt. Gilead/Gilead Christian) and a layup by Kylee Burkholder (West Unity/Hilltop) put the Beavers up 58-53. The visitors never relinquished the lead as an amazing 39-5 jag over a 12-minute span propelled the Beavers to an unlikely 78-73 victory.

The offense was led by freshman sensation Ruffer as she dropped in 17 points, ripped down nine rebounds and dished out five assists. Fellow freshman Taylor Knight (Perrysburg) added a career-best 15 points while handing out a career-high nine dimes. Debord added 11 counters of her own. Hutton and Brenna Kurilec each chipped in with nine points.

Bluffton hit 16-of-25 (72.0 percent) from the field in the second half, including 6-of-8 (75.0 percent) from outside the arc. For the game, the Beavers shot 60 percent (9-of-15) from the 3-point line. The team finished with 22 assists and a season-low 12 turnovers, compared to Manchester’s 22 assists and 18 turnovers.

The Beavers return to action Saturday when they travel to Rose-Hulman. The tip is set for 1 p.m. at Terre Haute, Ind.
Jackets blast Earlham for first road HCAC victory
RICHMOND, Ohio – The Defiance College men’s basketball team scored its first road win of the year in conference action on Wednesday, topping Earlham by a 92-66 margin. The 26-point spread gave the Jackets their most lopsided road win of the Kyle Brumett era.
It took a few minutes for the Purple and Gold to take control of the action however, as Earlham won the tip and scored on its first possession. The Quakers would then take an 8-6 lead and draw even at 10-10, before a hoop from Bernard Edwards and consecutive baskets from Travis Schomaeker put DC up by a 16-10 count.

The Jackets would not look back, using back-to-back triples from Mason Roth and Drew Frizell to open up a 24-14 lead by the 9:47 mark and taking a 41-28 lead into the half.

It would be all Defiance in the final 20 minutes, with two more 3-point daggers from Frizell pushing the lead over the 20-point barrier to stay with 11:42 remaining in the contest via a 66-42 cushion.

The lead would hover between 22 and 28 points the rest of the way as DC rolled to the 92-66 triumph and its largest road victory since topping Transylvania by a 98-65 score on January 12, 2008.

Schomaeker remained hot for Defiance, matching a career-high and leading all players with 19 points, while Ryan Hicks ended with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocks to move into a tie for fifth place with Matt Laudick (2002-2006) on DC’s all-time blocks list with 58 career swats.

Logan Wolfrum and Frizell also cracked double figures with 15 and 12, while Wade Wooley ended with a career-high eight points and D.J. Bonds dished out a career-high eight assists off the bench.

Defiance (10-6) closed the first half of the league schedule with the victory and will enter the second wave of action in fourth place with a 6-3 clip in the HCAC. The Jackets have won eight of their last 10 outings and will look to keep that momentum when they play at Hanover (10-6, 7-2 HCAC) on Saturday at 3 p.m.


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