The University of Findlay men's basketball team scratched and clawed their way to a 71-67 overtime win over Wayne State University on Feb. 2 in Detroit, Mich. The win gives the Oilers a 10-9 record on the season with a 7-8 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Oilers were down 57-51 with only 1:24 remaining in regulation, but freshman guard Elijah Kahlig got the Oilers back into the game with a triple. After a defensive stop, Kahlig once again drained a three pointer with only eight seconds remaining to tie the game at 57-57. Needing to get a stop and force overtime, Kahlig once again bailed the Oilers out when he made a block and grabbed a defensive rebound as time expired.
Kahlig started the extra session by converting a layup before sophomore guard Ricardo Smith hit two free throws to put Findlay up 61-57 with 2:07 remaining. After a score by the Warriors, senior forward Jake Heagen and sophomore forward Tyler Stern-Tucker made back-to-back jumpers to give the Oilers a 65-60 lead with only 40 seconds remaining.
Leading by five, the Oilers fouled and Wayne State made a pair of shots from the charity stripe. Kahlig then made two from the line to push the lead back to five before the Warriors cut the lead to three at 67-64 with seven seconds remaining. Heagen then went to the line and made two free throws, but the Warriors hit a three pointer to make the score 69-67 with little time remaining on the clock. Junior guard Dylan Kaufman then made two free throws with under a second remaining for the final margin of the game.
The Oilers, who only shot 35.6 percent (21-of-59) from the floor, were led by Kaufman's 22 points. He hit 7-of-16 shot attempts and drained 6-of-12 tries from three point range. The Berlin, Ohio native also added five rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steals in the win.
Heagen contributed 17 points and five rebounds while Kahlig had ten points and five boards.
Freshman guard Nick Ruthsatz produced seven points while Smith had six points and a career-high ten rebounds off the bench during the game.
The Warriors, who connected on 40.3 percent (25-of-62) of their shot attempts, were led by Gavin Toma's 20 points and five rebounds.
The Oilers will return home to host Ohio Dominican University on Thursday. The game is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. in Croy Gymnasium.