TIFFIN -- A energized comeback fell just short on Saturday afternoon inside Seiberling Gymnasium. Playing in their home opener, the Heidelberg University men's basketball team trailed by as many as 19 points in the second half, but fought back to within one. Despite opportunities to tie the game on four separate occasions, the Student Princes (0-3) still fell to Bluffton University (3-1) by a final score of 79-76.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Bluffton led wire to wire as things started slowly for the Berg as they found themselves in an 8-0 hole. A Prewitt layup put Heidelberg on the board 2:01 into the first half.
The Beavers largest lead of the first half was 43-29 with 3:19 left. The Berg finished the frame on a 7-2 run with buckets by Arellano, Tayte Lentz and Curt Jacobs, closing the gap to just nine points at the break.
Another sluggish start for the Student Princes set them back as Bluffton built out their highest lead of the game at 58-39 with just 3:10 gone in the second half.
A full line change for the Berg led to a stiff momentum change in the game. A 20-2 run put Heidelberg within one point. Prewitt collected 10 of his game-high 22 points during the run.
The Student Princes stayed within seven across the final 8:15 of the game as a high-press defense forced Bluffton into five turnovers in their own half of the court. Heidelberg capitalized on these opportunities, scoring seven points off of the Beaver turnovers remaining in striking distance.
With just 25 seconds remaining, Dylan Woods gave the Berg life, closing the gap to three on a reverse layup under the hoop. After Dezman Brown missed the front end of a one-and-one, Heidelberg worked an opportunity to Phariz Watkins, whose three-point attempt found front iron before Prewitt scooped in the put-back.
A Jimmy Hanley hail-mary pass attempt as time trickled down was picked off by the Beavers, ending the game 79-76.
FOR THE OPPONENT:
Bluffton had twin 20-point performances by Andrew Renner and Dezman Brown, as well as a 17-point night by Aaron Rich. Renner grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
The Beavers won the battle of the boards, out-rebounding Heidelberg 44-38 … The Heidelberg bench outscored Bluffton's reserves 30-8 … Bluffton's Aaron Rich compiled a game-high plus/minus of +17.
The Student Princes welcome Wilmington College for their OAC opener on Saturday, December 1 at 3 p.m. inside Seiberling Gymnasium.