The University of Findlay men's basketball team defeated 3rd-ranked Bellarmine University by a score of 70-69 on Nov. 24 in another classic matchup between the two programs in Croy Gymnasium.
The Oilers came out on fire in the early going, jumping out to a 17-5 lead in the first six minutes of the game. The run was fueled by the Oilers three point shooting as they canned five consecutive triples to build their advantage. Findlay then kept a double digit lead until the final minute of the first half when the Knights went on a 5-0 run to make the score 34-28 in favor of Findlay at the break.
In the second half the Oilers would again build a double digit lead, jumping out to a 44-31 advantage with 16:52 to play. Bellarmine wouldn't go quietly however and eventually tied the game at 65-65 on a three pointer with 1:23 to play.
Tied at 65-65, sophomore forward Taren Sullivan sunk a pair of free throws to push the Oilers lead to two. Bellarmine would answer and tie the game at 67-67 with 39 ticks left on the clock. Sophomore guard Nick Ruthsatz then broke down the defense and scored to give Findlay a 69-67 advantage with 17 seconds remaining.
After a timeout by Bellarmine, the Knights once again tied the game, but fouled sophomore guard Martyce Kimbrough with only one second to play in the contest. Kimbrough made his first shot from the charity stripe and purposely missed his second. Kimbrough's second attempt failed to hit the rim however allowing Bellarmine a chance at a desperation play. Bellarmine advanced the ball up the floor, but time expired before they could get a shot off.
The Oilers, who last hosted the Knights in the Sweet 16 during the 2008-09 campaign and came away with an 89-86 overtime win, shot 39.7 percent (23-of-58) from the floor. The Knights meanwhile were able to connect on 50 percent (24-of-48) of their shot attempts in the game.
Findlay grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the win compared to only eight by Bellarmine. The Oilers defense also forced 19 turnovers in the game.
Kimbrough paced the Oilers with 16 points. He hit 4-of-11 shot attempts and connected on 3-of-9 tries from long range.
Senior forward John Staley had 13 points and nine rebounds while Sullivan recorded 12 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Junior forward Tyler Stern-Tucker also reached double figures with ten points while Ruthsatz finished with eight points and three assists.
Rusty Troutman led Bellarmine with 17 points, ten rebounds and four assists.
The Oilers will be back in action again on Dec. 3 when they travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. to open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play at Lake Superior State. The contest is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m.