The University of Findlay men's basketball team captured their sixth Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament Championship after defeating Hillsdale College by a score of 71-52 on Sunday, March 4 in Hillsdale, Mich. The tournament championship was their first away from Croy Gymnasium as Findlay has won the event in six out of the last nine years.
The Oilers came out firing on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 24-2 lead in the first 15 minutes of the game and entered the break with a 31-12 advantage on the scoreboard.
In the opening half, the Oilers shot 44 percent (11-of-25) from the floor and drilled 6-of-11 (54.5%) shots from behind the three point line. In comparison, the Chargers made a mere 20 percent (4-of-20) of their field goal attempts and missed all seven of their triple tries.
In the second half, the Oilers and Chargers played to a 40-40 tie, but Findlay's big first half lead proved too difficult to overcome as they improved to 23-6 on the year.
The Oilers shot 52.3 percent (23-of-44) from the field and canned 8-of-15 (53.3%) of their three point attempts. They also hit 17-of-18 (94.4%) shots from the free throw line and held the Chargers to a 36.5 percent (19-of-52) shooting clip.
Findlay broke GLIAC Tournament records for most made free throws (67) in a series and highest free throw percentage in a series (91.8%).
Senior guard Kyle Caiola led the charge with 22 points on 7-of-10 shooting. He also drilled all eight of his free throw attempts in the win and finished the tournament by making 29-of-30 attempts from the charity stripe, which is a new GLIAC record.
Caiola, who was named the GLIAC Tournament MVP, also added five assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Freshman forward Jake Heagen added 14 points and seven boards en route to a spot on the all-tournament team while junior forward Brad Piehl had eight points and three rebounds, also earning a spot on the all-tournament team.
The Chargers were led by Brad Guinane's 13 points and six rebounds.
The Oilers will now compete in the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament, which is scheduled to begin on Saturday, March 10. The Oilers will find out their opponent and the location of the tournament tonight as the NCAA reveals the complete bracket at 10:30 p.m. on their website.