The University of Findlay men's basketball team, ranked 13th in the nation, knocked off fourth-ranked Bellarmine University by a score of 74-73 on March 11 in Big Rapids, Mich. to advance to the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season. The victory moves the Oilers record to 28-4 on the year, the fourth-time in school history they have achieved 28 or more wins in a season.
The two teams went back and forth the entire game and the Oilers found themselves down three at 71-68 with under two minutes to play when senior guard Austin Gardner scored a layup to cut the lead to one. Junior forward Alex White then put the Oilers up one with a backdoor layup with only 55 seconds showing on the clock.
After White's basketball, Bellarmine's Brent Bach gave the Knights the lead on the ensuing possession with only 30 seconds remaining. Findlay then ran some clock down and settled for a contested jumper from senior guard Martyce Kimbrough that missed off the mark. Kimbrough however followed his shot and grabbed an offensive rebound while being fouled with only five ticks left. The Oilers then found senior guard Elijah Kahlig open off an out of bounds play on the wing. Kahlig got his man in the air and was fouled behind the three point stripe with only one second remaining. Kahlig then calmly sank his first two free throws and missed his third on purpose. A long pass by the Knights was then deflected out of bounds by senior forward Taren Sullivan, giving Findlay the win.
The Oilers shot 54.7 percent (29-of-53) from the floor and converted 10-of-22 (45.5%) of their attempts from three point land. Bellarmine meanwhile made 59.6 percent (31-of-52) from the field and 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from behind the three point line.
Sullivan paced the Oilers with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting. He also made 4-of-6 tries from three point range and added four boards in the game.
Kimbrough had 20 points, six assists and five rebounds. He also made 5-of-9 attempts from three point range in the victory.
White reached double figures with 14 points and also added three blocked shots while Gardner and Kahlig finished with eight and seven points, respectively.
The Knights were led by Bach's 26 points.
The Oilers will now play on Tuesday, March 13 for a chance to head to the Elite 8. The game is scheduled to begin at 7pm in Big Rapids, Mich.