On Saturday, Feb. 3, both the Bluffton University Men’s (9-12, 6-8 HCAC) and Women’s (15-6, 10-4 HCAC) basketball teams played host to the Fightin’ Engineers from Rose-Hulman (men 14-7, 12-2 HCAC; women 18-3, 14-0 HCAC) in a double-header and lost. The men lost 83-75 in a game that went into overtime, and the women lost a tough one late, 50-44.
The men’s game kicked off the the double-header and Bluffton was looking good, taking a 34-27 halftime lead.
Leading the charge for the Beavers was the Andrew duo, senior guard Andrew Hunter (Arlington/Arlington) and sophomore guard Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath), with eight points apiece. Senior guard Kevin Christie (Miamisburg/Bishop Fenwick) had seven.
Bluffton’s offense and defense showed up in the first half shooting 42.4 percent on 14-33 and shot 50 percent from behind the 3-point arch. The Beaver’s defense held Rose-Hulham, who have been shooting 48 percent from the field and 39 percent from 3-point land on the year, to 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from behind the 3-point line.
In the second half, Rose-Hulman made their adjustments and things started to shift their way. They shot better from the field, 60.7 percent, and from 3-point land, 37.5 percent.
Justis Dowdy (Van Wert/Lincolnview) came in off the bench in the second half and played a huge role in keeping Bluffton in this game. On only making one 3-point shot all year, he made three huge 3-pointers and many big plays to put Bluffton up by 10, 51-41, midway through the second half. Dowdy also helped Bluffton take this game into overtime as he hit the tying layup with nine seconds left on the clock.
Dowdy finished the game scoring a team high 17 points off the bench, but it was not enough as Rose-Hulman put the things together and closed out the game on a 14-6 run.
The women’s game also went back and forth throughout the first half.
Bluffton, after only scoring four points in the first quarter, scored 21 in the second and took a 25-20 halftime lead. Abigail O’Donnell (Arcanum/Arcanum) lead the Beavers in scoring with seven points.
The shooting woes continued for this Bluffton women’s basketball team. They went 8-25 (32 percent) from the field and 4-8 (50 percent) from the 3-point line in the first half. In the second half, these percentages went down, they shot 21.4 percent (6-28) from the field and 16.7 percent (1-6) from 3-point land.
What hurt the Beavers was the fact that they had no points coming off of the bench. Rose-Hulman outscored Bluffton 28-0 in bench points. Bluffton came up six points short of spoiling Rose-Hulman’s perfect HCAC record.
Next up for the men’s and women’s basketball team is a road trip on Wednesday, Feb. 7, approximately one hour north of Bluffton to Defiance College to take on their arch rivals, the Defiance College Yellow Jackets. The women’s game will tip-off at 6 p.m. with the men set to follow at 8 p.m.