The University of Findlay men's basketball team grinded out a tough, 74-69 win over Ferris State University on Saturday, Feb. 18 in Croy Gymnasium. The victory gives the Oilers a 19-6 record on the season with a 13-5 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Oilers fell behind 41-33 at the break and then watched the Bulldogs consistently keep a 5-7 point lead through the first six minutes of the second period.
Down 54-46 with 13:37 remaining, sophomore forward Greg Kahlig and freshman forward Jake Heagen recorded two consecutive lay-ups to make the score 54-50 with 10:48 showing on the clock. After a free throw from Ferris State's Daniel Sutherlin, sophomore forward Mark Frilling threw down a dunk to cut the lead to three at 55-52 with just over eight minutes to play.
After a turnover by the Bulldogs, sophomore guard Sean Samsel hit a deep three on the wing to tie the game at 55-55 with 7:54 left. The Bulldogs would then retake the lead a few minutes later on a lay-up by Dontae Molden, but Kahlig splashed a triple to give Findlay a 58-57 advantage with 4:45 remaining in the contest.
A free throw by junior forward Jack Smith gave the Oilers a two-point cushion, which was followed by a lay-up from Samsel. The Bulldogs then split a pair of free throws on the ensuing possession before Kahlig and senior guard Kyle Caiola each hit two shots apiece from the charity stripe to give the Oilers a 65-58 advantage with just under two minutes left on the clock.
After a pair of free throws by Sutherlin, Samsel put the Oilers up eight points at 68-60 when he hit a three pointer from 25-feet with the shot clock winding down. The Bulldogs would not go quietly however as they went on a 5-0 run to make the score 68-65 with only 32 ticks remaining.
The Bulldogs would add four more points down the stretch, but Caiola sealed the win for Findlay by hitting all six of his free throw attempts in the final 30 seconds of the contest.
The Oilers, who extended their home winning streak against GLIAC foes to 76 games, shot 50 percent (23-of-46) from the floor and drilled 9-of-20 (45%) attempts from behind the three point line.
The Oilers also hit 19-of-23 (82.6%) shots from the charity stripe and had 18 assists on their 23 field goals.
The Bulldogs, who shot 60 percent (15-of-25) in the first half, ended the game with a 41.1 percent (23-of-56) shooting clip as the Oilers defense held them to a mere 25.8 percent (8-of-31) showing from the field in the second period of the game.
Caiola led the way with a season-high 25 points on 6-of-11 shooting. He also added seven assists and five rebounds while hitting all ten of his shots from the free throw line.
Kahlig added 13 points while Samsel came off the bench to contribute 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Heagen stuffed the stat sheet with six points, eight rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal while Smith and Frilling had six points apiece.
Kenny Brown led Ferris State with 24 points while Derrell Sanders had 14.
The Oilers will be back in action again next Saturday when they close out their regular season in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan against Lake Superior State University. The contest is scheduled to begin at 3 pm.