By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team knocked off Hiram College 76-62 in the home opener with four Beavers notching double digits on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018. Although Bluffton trailed 41-33 at the half, the Beavers used a convincing 43-21 edge in the final period to knock off the Terriers for their second win (2-1) of the season.
With the Beavers trailing by eight at the half, they needed to flip the script in the second period and they did just that. After pulling within a point at 46-45 with 14:42 to play, Bluffton finally took the lead when Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Beavers up 47-46. The home team never looked back thanks to a tenacious defense that limited Hiram to an abysmal 16 percent from the field in the second half (5-of-30), including 0-for-8 from outside the arc after the visitors drilled 7-of-18 in the first period.
Bluffton kept pace with Hiram early on in the opening stanza, but midway through the half the Terriers started to put some distance on the scoreboard. Hiram's Sherman Dean III buried one of his four first-half triples to put Hiram up 35-23 with 4:14 to play. After trailing by as many as 12, Bluffton fought back and made it an 8-point game (41-33) with 32 seconds left in the half when Mandell Ransaw (Cleveland/Cuyahoga CC) got to the rack following a nice feed from sophomore Dezman Brown (Elyria).
Renner led four Beavers in double digits with 22 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the field, including 3-for-6 from three-point land. He ripped down a career-high 14 rebounds for his second career double-double. Freshman Jameel Cosby (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) bucketed a career-high 20 points on 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the arc and he hauled in a career-best 11 rebounds for his first collegiate double-double. Bluffton bigs Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) and Aaron Rich (Greenville) added 10 points apiece for the victors. Brown set career highs with seven rebounds and five assists.
Bluffton hit 26-of-61 (42.6 percent) from the field, including a red-hot 15-for-30 (50 percent) in the second half. The Beavers pulled down seven more boards (47-40), but turned it over five more times (15-10)
Bluffton will travel to Heidelberg University on Saturday, Nov. 24, to lock horns with the Student Princes. The non-conference matchup will tip at 3 p.m. in Tiffin.