BLUFFTON — The Bluffton University men’s basketball team Saturday won a defensive showdown against Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference-leading Rose-Hulman, 55-49.
Despite the Beavers holding an 11-point lead at the break, the Engineers made a late surge and cut the deficit to one when Craig McGee hit a layup with 4:23 left in the game.
The Beavers responded with eight straight points to secure the victory. Bluffton improved to 12-3 overall and tied for first at 6-2 in the Heartland Conference, while Rose-Hulman slipped to 10-5 overall and 6-2 in the HCAC.
Bluffton came out firing in the first stanza and freshman Jameel Cosby (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) pushed the lead to 16-7 when he completed his second old-fashioned three-point play in the first seven minutes of the game. The home team took its largest lead when Cosby made a driving layup with 15 seconds on the clock, putting the Beavers up 33-22 going into the break. Defense was the story as Bluffton held Rose to 21-of-61 from the field for 34.4 percent shooting on the afternoon.
With the Engineers making a late surge that saw the Beaver lead cut to one, sophomore Aaron Rich (Greenville) hit a clutch jumper that made it 45-42 with 3:05 left in the contest. A pair of free throws by junior Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) would all but seal the Beaver victory with 11 ticks remaining.
Bluffton was led by Aaron Rich and Bath graduate Andrew Renner, who each netted 17 points on a combined 15-of-30 from the field. Renner also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Jameel Cosby dropped in 13 of his own on 5-of-10 from the fieldf. Isaiah Taylor and Rich ripped down eight and six boards, respectively, while Renner and Brown recorded three steals apiece.
Ohio Northern 80 (OT)
ADA — Colton Bachman (Piqua) tied his career-high with 18 points and Ryan Bruns (Marion Local) scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead ONU against No. 10-ranked Marietta at the ONU Sports Center..
The Polar Bears fall to 4-11 overall and are 0-8 in the Ohio Athletic Conference, while the Pioneers are now 13-2, 7-1.
Daniel Unruh (Elida) also tied a career-high 14 points and hit a 3-pointer just ahead of the buzzer to send the game into overtime. He scored ONU’s final nine points in regulation over a 4:56 span.
ONU 64, Marietta 50
ADA — The Polar Bears held the Pioneers to a 33 percent shooting clip and forced 18 total turnovers at the ONU Sports Center in Ada.
With the triumph, ONU improves to 10-5 overall and evens its OAC mark at 4-4. Meanwhile, the Pioneers fall to 9-6 overall and 4-4 against the league circuit.
Jenna Dirksen and Abby Weeks each turned in double-digit scoring efforts for ONU, registering 17 and 12 points, respectively. The tandem would also recorded four assists each and combined for five steals and two blocks at the defensive end. Tori Wyss (Ada) and Alyssa Manley (Bath) had nine points apiece with the latter adding four assists to tie for the team lead.
Rose Hulman 63, Bluffton 34
BLUFFTON — The Beavers fell to 5-10 on the season (3-5 HCAC), while Rose Hulman improved to 10-5 and 7-1 in the conference.
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Ohio Northern concluded its stay by posting a 1-1 record, falling to Castleton (Vermont) 31-16 and defeating Southern Virginia 26-22 at Lamade Gymnasium.
With the results, Northern finished the event 15th with a 1-4 mark, moving the Polar Bears to 5-6 in dual matches.
ONU’s Jeff Andrews won four times at 149 pounds and once at 157. Clayton Davidson (174 pounds) became the 13th wrestler in ONU history to capture 100 career victories.
COLDWATER — Clyde won the tiebreaker with Celina and Jay County to determine the championship after each team went 4-1 in pool.
Area competitors going undefeated included Celina’s Seth Huston, Shawnee’s Cory Beach and Clay Adlesh, Coldwater’s Brian Chmielewski and Van Wert’s Gabe Styer and Isaiah Brtez.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.