Bluefield wins scrappy conference matchup over Reinhardt 91-74 on Saturday
Rams sit in 1st place in AAC and possible receiving votes on national polls
Sports Information Department BC
January 8, 2012
Bluefield College Athletics
Sports Information Department
Bluefield, Virginia- Bluefield's guard play was again too much for another conference opponent as the Rams defeated Reinhardt University 91-74 on Saturday afternoon at the Dome Gymnasium in Bluefield.
Coach Morgan knew the contest was going to be another huge test for his Rams. Before the game he told the team, "you better be ready to go into war [battle], we need to be prepared." His team came out and faced adversity to say the least.
Bluefield jumped out to an early lead with quick buckets in the opening eigh minutes by M'bala, Carpenter and Marion. The Rams would go up by 11, 25-14 with just 6:03. Ishmael John got RU back into the game late in the half with a three, and it started a Reinhardt 13-4 run with four minutes left to play. The push gave Reinhardt confidence, especially with their ability to go inside. RU beat up Bluefield on the glass in the first half with second-chance points. With BC's O'boute in foul trouble, the Rams went small several times in the contest.
Still defending fairly well in the half-court set, the Rams turned the ball over two times in the final 90 seconds and gave Reinhardt the chance to make it a narrow ball game going into the half. Devon Page got a basket to go at the 1st-half buzzer giving Bluefield a 35-33 lead. 35 points at the half was the lowest point total in a half for the high-scoring Rams in more than nine games.
Reinhardt used momentum coming out of the halftime break to their advantage. The Eagles went on a 8-2 run to go up 42-41 with the Rams keeping it still very close. Then the lightbulb turned. Reinhardt's athleticism would finally be outmatched with the BC substitution of Shane Williams who ignited a Bluefield 24-8 run at the 14:02 mark. Needing a spark, the Jamaican got five of his nine points (season high) in a two-minute span to go along with seven emphatic rebounds.
The 16-point swing sat in on the Eagles and the frustration came out. Both teams picked up technicals and only added to the spice of the conference game. With two players fouled out, Reinhardt struggled to get back into the game. Both teams shot over 70% from the FT line and shot a combined 69 attempts at the line.
Reinhardt's solution to try and run with Bluefield may have been a decent gameplan in the first half, but the steam ran out late in the contest just as the high-flying Rams picked up the pace. Marion's 4-7 from behind the arc and Carpenter's late contribution pushed Bluefield forward to a 20+ advantage in the second half.
With less than five minuntes left in the contest, Bluefield's urgency to prove its legitimacy of the first-place spot was revealed. The 6'6" Carpenter picked up a loose ball from 3/4 down the court, dribbled end-to-end and slammed home a one-handed dunk. Later with 2:03 left to play, Marion slipped by two defenders floated a ball to Carpenter mid-air, and the alley-oop was stamped to perfection.
The Rams finished out another conference game by a winning margin of 15 points in the 91-74 victory over visiting Reinhardt University (Ga.). Bluefield sits in 1st place in the AAC with a 4-0 record and 11-8 overall. Bluefield will have yet another tough test on the road as they face AAC-member, Milligan College, on Monday at 7:30pm.
This week more than ever, BC will be up for discussion to receive national rankings both in the NAIA and NCCAA after another undefeated week (all in conference play) and winning eight of their last nine games.
High Scorers: Wilson (24), Marion (21) and Carpenter (18).