MEADVILLE, Pa. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team traveled to Meadville, Pa., for a season-opening matchup with Chatham at Allegheny College on Friday, Nov. 16. The Cougars used a 37-30 edge in the second half to upend Bluffton 67-63 in the first game of the Greg Richards Tournament.
Bluffton trailed 64-58 with less than three minutes to play before an Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) chip shot and two Jameel Cosby (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) free throws made it 64-62 with 52 seconds on the clock. Following a Chatham miss from distance, junior Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) hit his first of two attempts at the charity stripe, but the home team on the scoreboard converted 3-of-4 from the line to seal its 67-63 victory over the Beavers.
A 7-0 Beaver spurt that was capped by a Renner make from distance made the score 14-7 at the 13:22 mark of the first stanza. The Cougars answered back with eight straight counters for their first lead of the game at 15-14 less than two minutes later. Bluffton held a slim 22-20 advantage with 6:55 on the clock before five points from sophomore Dezman Brown (Elyria) helped push the Beavers to their largest lead of the game (31-22) at the 2:49 mark.
Chatham closed out the first half with an 8-2 run thanks to five straight points from Buzz Walker that made the score 33-30 at the break. The Beavers stayed on top until a Will Sandherr trifecta with 12:12 to play made it 49-46 in favor of the Cougars. A Brevin Dye (Bedford Heights/Trinity) three-ball gave Bluffton a 55-53 lead with 7:52 on the clock, but Chatham responded with an Isaiah Brown bucket from outside the arc and the Cougars never trailed again.
Renner paced the Beavers with 17 points, while Aaron Rich (Greenville) and Brown added 13 counters apiece. All three pulled down five rebounds. Cosby ripped down a team-high eight boards, while adding five points and three assists. Taylor just missed double figures with eight markers.
Bluffton hit 23-of-55 from the field (41.8 percent), including 6-for-21 (28.6 percent) from distance. Bluffton converted 11-of-14 (78.6 percent) at the stripe and Chatham pulled down three more boards (38-35) than the Beavers.
The Bluffton men jump right back into action on Saturday, Nov. 17, when the Beavers take on Pitt-Greensburg at Allegheny College. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.