The University of Findlay men's basketball team escaped with an 80-79 win in overtime over Saginaw Valley State University on Thursday, Jan. 9 in Croy Gymnasium.
The Oilers, who held double digit leads in the second halves of each of their past two games, were in a similar situation against the Cardinals on Thursday. Findlay jumped out to a 17-point advantage with 13:05 to play in the game, but Saginaw Valley State fought their way back to send the game into overtime. The Oilers however came up with enough plays down the stretch to snap their two-game losing streak as they needed an extra five minutes to put the Cardinals away.
In a game that featured four ties and three lead changes, Saginaw Valley State took a 68-67 advantage with 1:51 remaining in regulation on a layup by Calvin Turnage. Sterling Johnson then connected on a layup to put the Cardinals up three with under a minute to play before junior forward Jake Heagen made a pair of shots from the free throw line to stop the bleeding.
Down one at 70-69 with 42 ticks left, the Oilers got a stop on the defensive end and converted on the offensive end when senior forward Mark Frilling scored on a layup. Frilling was fouled on the play, but was unable to make the free throw, giving the Oilers a 71-70 lead with only nine seconds to play. A foul by sophomore guard Dylan Kaufman then sent Damon Bozeman to the line for Saginaw Valley State, where he split the pair with only one second remaining to force overtime.
In the extra period, the Oilers ran out to a 77-71 lead with 1:37 left, but the Cardinals came up with some more big plays to make the score 79-77 in favor of Findlay with 27 seconds left. Sophomore guard Alphonso Baity then split a pair of free throws before Bozeman scored again to cut the lead to one.
Narrowly holding an 80-79 lead, Baity turned the ball over and the Cardinals had a second chance to win the game. A shot by Bozeman was off the mark however and Saginaw Valley State was forced to foul with under a second to play. Senior forward Greg Kahlig then missed both free throws on the other end and the Cardinals desperation heave at the buzzer was wide right.
Findlay shot 51.9 percent (28-of-54) from the floor and blocked ten shots. They made 8-of-18 (44.4%) attempts from behind the three point line, but only 61.5 percent (16-of-26) of their shots from the charity stripe.
The Cardinals connected on 44.2 percent (34-of-77) of their field goal attempts and dominated the Oilers in the paint, out-scoring Findlay by a 58-28 margin.
Kahlig led the team with 24 points, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks while Heagen recorded 18 points, five boards and a pair of blocks.
Baity tallied 14 points and three blocks while Kaufman had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Frilling scored six points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in the game as well for Findlay.
Turnage led the Cardinals with 26 points and eight rebounds.
The Oilers will return to Croy Gymnasium on Saturday to host Wayne State University at 3 p.m.