#23 Oilers Grind to Home-Opening Win Over Cardinals

#23 Oilers Grind to Home-Opening Win Over Cardinals

Box Score

Findlay, Ohio – It has been eight months since Croy Gymnasium has seen game action. On Saturday, Nov. 17, the lights inside the friendly confines shined brightly for the Oilers' men's basketball team who, ranked no. 23 in the country, took down long-time conference rival Saginaw Valley St. by a score of 79-66 to improve to 3-0 on the young season. The Cardinals, on the other hand, fall to 1-3.

Findlay opened the game with an 8-2 lead through just two minutes of action, but a 10-0 run by the Cardinals over the next four minutes saw Saginaw with a 12-8 lead just six minutes into the contest.

Trailing 27-21, the Oilers went on an 11-0 run on the back of seven straight points by freshman Ethan Linder, who led Findlay with nine points in the first half, and would ultimately take a 36-32 lead into the break.

Saginaw Valley St., which has beaten Findlay just four times in 26 tries, would pull to within two points just over five minutes into the second half but four straight free throws by Findlay and a corner triple by junior Aaron Overhiser drew out the first Croy-roar of the season and forced a timeout by the Cardinals, trailing 53-44 with 12:45 to play in the game.

Findlay's lead ballooned to as much as 19 and they would cruise to a victory on their home floor for the first time this season.

Findlay won the rebounding battle 41-to-37 and had 19 assists to just six for Saginaw Valley St. Despite committing more turnovers (12-to-10), the Oilers capitalized on those miscues, scoring 14 points-off-turnovers to just four for the Cardinals.

Neither team shot well from beyond the arc as Findlay made 6-of-19 (.316) and SVSU made 4-of-19 (.211), but that did not phase the Oilers because their size inside helped give them a 44-to-32 advantage on points in the paint.

The Oilers were led in scoring by Overhiser who poured in 18 points on 6-of-9 from the floor. The big man was able to step out and hit 3-of-4 from deep, as well. He also grabbed three rebounds, had three assists, and two blocks to round out his game.

Senior Alex White picked up his first double-double of the year as he scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, eight of which came in the first half, and protected the rim to the tune of four blocked shots.

Sophomore Anthony Masterlasco was the final player in double-figures, scoring 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He added three assists while starting guard Trey Smith led the Oilers with five. Smith scored eight points and led Findlay with four steals.

Sophomore guard Tommy Schmock had nine points, four assists, and two steals while Ethan Linder scored nine points, had three rebounds, two assists, and a steal.

The no. 23 Oilers will be back home on Tuesday, Nov. 20 for a top-25 matchup when they play host to the defending Division II National Champions, the no. 13 Ferris State Bulldogs. That game will tip off at 7:00 pm in Findlay.