Big Rapids, Mich. – Playing in the Sweet 16 for the second consecutive season and fifth time in school history, the University of Findlay basketball team, ranked no. 13 in the country, bowed out of the NCAA Division II Tournament and ended its season with an 80-65 loss at the hands of no. 2 Ferris State on Tuesday, March 13. Findlay finishes its season with a record of 28-5, just the fifth time in the history of the program that the Oilers have reached the 28-win plateau.
Findlay, which had not led in the game, battled back from a nine-point halftime deficit to take a 54-53 lead with just under nine minutes to play in the contest. Two minutes later, Ferris State got a jump shot from Deshaun Thrower to tie the game at 59. Over the next three minutes, the Bulldogs went on a 12-2 run to take a 71-61 lead with just 3:14 to play and made nine free throws down the stretch to seal the victory and a trip to the Elite 8.
Ferris State held the advantage on the glass, grabbing 49 rebounds, 16 of which were offensive, to Findlay's 35. Both teams struggled from the field, but the Bulldogs held the advantage, shooting 42.4% (28-of-66) to just 38.9% (28-for-72) for the Oilers, including shooting a season-low 15.4% (4-of-26) from three point range. Findlay was also at a disadvantage from the charity stripe where they had a season-low five attempts compared to 22 free throw attempts for the Bulldogs.
Senior Taren Sullivan, one of two Oilers to earn a spot on the Midwest Region All-Tournament Team, led the team with 16 points in his final game with Findlay. Sullivan made 8-of-19 from the floor and came up empty on five attempts from behind the arc. He also grabbed five rebounds and had four assists.
Junior Alex White finished the day with 12 points, ten of which came in the first half. He made 5-of-10 from the field including a perfect two-of-two from three point range. He grabbed five rebounds and added a block and an assist.
Senior Elijah Kahlig also reached double-figures with ten points and led the team with six rebounds. He also had three assists and two steals while fellow senior Martyce Kimbrough, the other all-tournament selection, scored six points, had four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
Senior Austin Gardner and junior Trey Smith each scored six points while junior Aaron Overhiser contributed five. Freshman Tommy Schmock scored four points, grabbed four rebounds, and had three assists.
Sullivan finishes his career 1,595 points. With his 16 points on Tuesday, Sullivan passed 2006 graduate and Oilers Hall of Famer Dustin Pfeifer for 12th on the all-time scoring list. The Lima, Ohio native also finished with 614 rebounds, and 310 assists.
Kimbrough ends his three-year stint in the Orange and Black with 1,650 points which is good for 11th on the all-time scoring list. Also a native of Lima, Ohio, Kimbrough finished his career with 244 rebounds, 167 assists, and 81 steals. He made 298 triples in his career, second all-time at Findlay.
Senior Elijah Kahlig ends his career with 993 points, 246 rebounds, 161 assists, and 83 steals. Kahlig made 217 triples in his career which is good for fifth all-time at Findlay and is two more than brother Greg Kahlig who made 215 threes in his time at UF.
Senior Austin Gardner, playing in his final game with Findlay as well, finishes with 353 points, 197 rebounds, 236 assists, 81 steals, and a career assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.7.