Bucheit tossed in ’Berg loss
Andy Bucheit was trying to get a technical foul to fire Heidelberg up.
But once he got going, he couldn’t stop himself.
It meant an early exit for the first-year Student Princes coach, who drew back-to-back whistles and an ejection in the second half of a 99-89 loss to Wilmington Saturday.
Bucheit, who still is looking for his first Ohio Athletic Conference win as a coach, had watched his team grab an early nine-point lead in the first half, only to trail 46-45 at the break.
Heidelberg led 51-46 early in the second half after a pair of foul shots from Jackson Blue.
Then it all started to come apart.
Wilmington answered Heidelberg’s surge with a 15-2 spurt, going up 61-54 after a Malcolm Heard foul shot with 13:16 left.
“There was a segment there … where they got every loose ball, they got every deflection,” Bucheit said. “Every time it looked like we were going to get a stop or get the ball, it deflected right to them and they scored. That hurt us.”
Wilmington’s offense was good all day, but especially in the second half, when the Quakers shot 16 of 29 from the floor. Leading the way was Heard, who had 23 points, 11 rebounds (five offensive) and two assists. He was one of four Wilmington players to score in double digits. R.J. Leppert had 21 points.
“One of the great qualities of this group is that they’re willing passers,” Wilmington coach K.C. Hunt said. “We really share the ball as a team. We average 18 assists as a team; 23 tonight is a great number.”
Wilmington – which defeated Division I Miami University earlier this season – improved to 5-4, 2-1 in the OAC.
Klarke Ransome had seven assists to go with 10 points, while Taylor Wellman added 10 points off the bench for the Quakers.
But as Wilmington – which went 11 for 22 on 3-pointers – heated up, Heidelberg cooled down.
Well, except for Bucheit. And with his team down 74-64 with 8:07 left, he saw a chance to fire up his team. When a charge wasn’t called against Heard, Bucheit went off on the officials.
“I just thought we needed something as a team, and I thought that was a blatant charge,” Bucheit said. “Mike [Petrie] was completely set, Malcolm Heard ran him over. And so, I tried to get a technical, because I wanted our team to get sparked.”
He got it. But he kept going, using some unrepeatable words. The official blew his whistle again.
“I did not try to get the second one, but once I got going, I couldn’t control myself, and I let my emotions get the better of me,” he said. “It should not have happened. I’ve got to keep it in check.”
HU assistant Joe Puch took over for Bucheit,
“Coach Bucheit is always passionate,” said Petrie, who led the Student Princes with a career-high 27 points, 20 of which came in the first half. “If we don’t have a lot of energy, he always makes sure that he puts that energy into us. It’s always good to see when your head man is behind you.”
Petrie started the game red-hot, making his first five 3-pointers. His three-point play with 10:04 left in the first half gave Heidelberg a 34-25 edge.
“Shots were just falling there for me,” Petrie said. “We were playing defense – slightly; offensively we were doing what we’ve been working on.”
Deonte Holder had 18 points and five rebounds for Heidelberg (4-7, 0-4 OAC), while Columbian graduate Cole Williams scored 11 points. Keith Mackie went only 1 for 8 from the floor for three points, but contributed a game-high 10 assists.
“Deonte, Keith and Mike give us a ton every night,” Bucheit said. “We need some other guys to start stepping up We can’t win with three guys trying to score the basketball every night.”