By Kevin Schrock
After starting the season 2-4, The University of Findlay Men’s Basketball team headed to Michigan last weekend on a three game winning streak. A two week Christmas break may have cost them some of their momentum, but they still played well enough up north for a two game split with Ferris State and Grand Valley State Universities.
In game one of the road trip the Oilers were going toe-to-toe with the Ferris State Bulldogs who are currently 10-2. After an Alex White tip in gave the Oilers a 50-49 lead, the Bulldogs took a timeout with 11 minutes to play to regroup. Ferris State went on to score eight straight points after the break to put the Oilers on their heels.
Still Findlay fought back. By the five minute mark the game was all knotted up again at 60, but on the road, the Oilers knew they had a tough task ahead of them if they wanted to finish off one of the best teams in the conference.
After Ferris took a 64-60 lead a John Staley basket and a Taren Sullivan dunk quieted the home fans and brought the Findlay bench to its feet. Unfortunately a Bulldog triple took the wind right back out of the Oilers sails.
A late Dylan Kaufman three-pointer closed the gap to one point with 16 seconds left to play. After Ferris sank a pair from the line, the Oilers had one more chance to send it to overtime. Martyce Kimbrough got the shot but couldn’t get it to drop and the Oilers fell 72-69.
Things went better for them against Grand Valley where they shot an incredible 60 percent from the field in the first half. That would be thanks in large part to Kimbrough who sank eight of ten and notched 22 first half points.
With a comfortable 57-36 lead the Oilers seemed to put it on cruise control for the final period. They went from sinking everything to not being able to find the bottom of the net. Only four shots fell through from the field for Findlay but they cashed in on their opportunities from the liberty stripe shooting 16-21 from the line.
They took the victory by a final tally of 82-66, sending the Lakers record down to 9-3. Kimbrough led the way with 29 points while Sullivan added 13.
Kimbrough has led the Oilers offensive attack for much of the season. The University of Indianapolis transfer is averaging 14.1 points a game to go along with 2.5 assists a game.
The Oilers will be in action on Thursday when they start a three game homestand off against Saginaw Valley State University. They will try to improve on their 3-3 conference record which is good enough for 7th in the GLIAC currently.