Bluffton staves off Spartans

Bluffton staves off Spartans

BLUFFTON, OHIO – A strong second half comeback by visiting Manchester University fell just short in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Wednesday, Feb. 4.

The Spartans, after getting down by as many as 18 in the first half, rallied to as close as seven against the host Beavers of Bluffton University in the final five minutes of regulation. However, BU (10-10 overall, 6-7 HCAC) went four-of-five at the charity stripe down the stretch to hold off MU (5-15, 4-9 HCAC) 72-61.

After a tough luck shooting first half for the Black and Gold where they hit less than 35 percent from the field overall and below 20 percent from outside the arc, they warmed up over the second 20 minutes, converting at a 57.1 percent clip overall and better than 35 percent from outside the arc to fuel the comeback. Junior guard Brady Dolezal (Tipton, Ind.) came off the bench for a strong 16-point, four-assist effort with both numbers leading the Spartans, while sophomore guard Blake Brouwer (Elkhart, Ind.) ended with 12 points. Fellow sophomore guard Chase Casteel (Monrovia, Ind.) narrowly missed a double-double, scoring eight points to go with 11 rebounds.

MU resumes a brief two-game road trip with a 5 p.m. tipoff at Rose-Hulman Saturday, Feb. 7.

NOTES: Dolezal tallied scoring double figures for the 15th time in 17 appearances this season … Casteel saw an eight-game run of double-digit scoring end but did record a career personal single-game high in rebounds.