By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Ind. - The Bluffton University men's basketball team dropped a close one on the road to the Anderson University Ravens, 69-61, on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. The Beavers tried using a late surge to overcome the Ravens, but the home team did not budge. Bluffton fell to 10-3 overall and 4-2 in the Heartland Conference, while Anderson improved to 5-8 overall and 4-2 in the HCAC.
The Beavers found themselves in a 9-0 hole early in the game when Anderson's Mike Peters hit a layup with 17:10 remaining in the half. A deuce by senior Jared Wentling (Carey) cut the Raven lead to 30-23 with a little under four minutes to play in the opening stanza. After another bucket by Peters, both teams went scoreless for the next three minutes as the Ravens took a 32-23 lead into the break.
Bluffton fought all the way back in the second half and took the lead at 51-49 with 8:50 to play when senior Justis Dowdy (Van Wert/Lincolnview) completed an old-fashioned three-point play. Two freebies by junior Isaiah Taylor (Yellow Springs) had the visitors up 53-51 with less than seven minutes to go, but the Ravens closed on an 18-8 jag to secure their 69-61 victory on Saturday afternoon.
Bluffton was led by junior Andrew Renner (Cairo/Bath) who netted 18 points on 6-of-15 from the field and 3-of-6 from three-point land. He also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds on the day. Sophomore Aaron Rich (Greenville) dropped in 12 of his own on 5-of-9 from the field. Taylor netted 11 on a perfect 3-of-3 from the field and 1-of-1 outside the arc. Freshman Jameel Cosby (Springfield/Kenton Ridge) pulled down six caroms for the visitors.
The Beavers hit 23-of-54 from the field for 42.6 percent, compared to 25-of-50 (50 percent) for the Ravens. Bluffton struggled from three-point land, going 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from distance. Bluffton turned the ball over 14 times compared to just 10 times for the Ravens.
The Beavers will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 9, when they travel to Defiance College to take on their arch rival Yellow Jackets. Tip-off is slated for 8 p.m. following the conclusion of the women's contest.