By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University men's basketball team played host to Heidelberg University on Saturday, Nov. 23, in a non-conference matchup. The Beavers controlled the game from the get go, only allowing Heidelberg to take the lead once in a 68-56 victory for the good guys. Bluffton improved to 2-2 overall, while Heidelberg fell to 1-3 on the season.
Bluffton controlled the tempo for nearly 40 minutes with Heidelberg's lone lead of the game at 4-2 when Tamal Watkins laid one in for the Student Princes with 17:06 to go in the first stanza. The Beavers' largest lead would come with 7:58 left in the game when Carter Kinnaird (Lewis Center/Olentangy) split a pair at the stripe to make the score 58-43. That would be enough to seal a 68-56 victory for Bluffton.
With both teams missing their first few shots to start the game, Bluffton would get on the scoreboard when Aaron Rich (Greenville) knocked down a jumper to make it 2-0. Heidelberg would take the lead, but Bluffton did not flinch. The home team went up 11-4 when Rich got to the rack with 13:57 left in the first stanza.
With 2:58 left in the first half, senior Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) drilled a pair of free throws to make it 35-23. Both teams would get another bucket before the break, making it 37-25 in favor of Bluffton at the half.
The Beavers stayed on top for the rest of the contest and did not look back. Plenty of missed shots by the Student Princes and a flurry of fouls made it too difficult for a comeback try, giving the Beavers there second victory of the season.
Andrew Renner paced the Beavers with 24 points and six rebounds. Sophomore Jameel Cosby (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) also notched double figures with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Dezman Brown (Elyria) pulled down a career-high eight rebounds, while Taylor led the team in assists with a career-high tying six on the night.
Bluffton hit 22-of-50 (44 percent) from the field, including 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from distance. Heidelberg pulled down 37 rebounds which was one more than the Beavers.
Bluffton will be back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 27, when they travel to Hiram College for a Thanksgiving Eve matchup with the Terriers. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.