The University of Findlay men's basketball team escaped with a 70-69 win over Malone University on Feb. 20 in Croy Gymnasium to keep their unbeaten record at home intact this year. The win also propelled their record to 19-7 on the year with a 16-5 mark in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
The Oilers, who fell behind 41-31 at the break, battled back to tie the game at 62-62 with 3:31 to play when sophomore guard Nick Ruthsatz canned a three pointer. The Pioneers would quickly go on a 5-0 run before senior forward John Staley broke free for a layup and was intentionally fouled. Staley made the layup, split a pair at the line and then after getting the ball back because of the intentional foul, sophomore guard Martyce Kimbrough buried a jumper to tie the game at 67-67 with under two minutes to play.
Tied for the second time in the game, Malone's Brian Stone banked in a hook before Kimbrough once again connected on a jumper to make the score 69-69 with 1:21 showing on the clock. After a few failed possessions by both teams, Malone's Stephen O'Daniel missed a short jumper that fell into the hands of sophomore forward Taren Sullivan. Sullivan then quickly passed to junior forward Tyler Stern-Tucker, who raced down the floor as the seconds ticked away. Stern-Tucker then went up for a contested layup and was fouled with only 0.4 seconds remaining. He then made his first free throw attempt to give the Oilers their first lead of the game. He missed the second one on purpose as time ran out to extend the Oilers record to 13-0 in Croy Gymnasium this year.
The Oilers shot 46.8 percent (29-of-62) from the floor in the win and canned 9-of-25 (36%) shot attempts from behind the three point line. Malone meanwhile connected on 53.1 percent (26-of-49) of their field goal attempts and 52.4 percent (11-of-21) of their shots from three point range.
Kimbrough paced the team with 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting while Staley had 11 points, three rebounds, three steals and two assists on senior day.
Sullivan contributed ten points, four rebounds and four assists while sophomore guard Elijah Kahlig had eight points in nine minutes of action.
Ruthsatz buried two triples en route to six points while senior guard Dylan Kaufman had four points, becoming the Oilers 44th member of the 1,000-point club in the process. Kaufman has now scored 1,001 career points for Findlay.
The Pioneers received 18 points from Stone and Christian Graves.
The Oilers will now prepare for their final regular season game of the season on Feb. 25 at Wayne State. The game is scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m. in Detroit, Mich.