Oilers win closest game of the season

UF men’s basketball plays first GLIAC tourney game March 1

By Kevin Schrock

The University of Findlay Men’s basketball team used a Tyler Stern-Tucker free throw with 0.4 seconds left to pull out a 70-69 win against Malone University on Saturday afternoon. The Oilers hadn’t had a lead the entire game and trailed by as much as 16 at one point.

It seemed the Pioneers couldn’t miss from outside in the first half. They splashed home nine of the 13 triples they shot in the first half and took a 41-31 lead into the second half.

Malone came into the game dead last in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) standings, and according to Findlay’s head coach Charlie Ernst, this may have led to the Oilers slow start.

“Malone is much better than a 7-19 team,” added Ernst.

Early in the second half the Oilers got some excitement in the form of a Dylan Kaufman layup. Although the two points were not crucial to the game at the time, they were crucial in securing Kaufman’s spot in Oiler history. They put the senior in the 1,000 point club where only 43 others preceded him.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to do it on senior night,” said Kaufman. “I’ve had so many people coming up and congratulating me.”

Still it wasn’t until Martyce Kimbrough hit back-to-back three’s halfway through the second half that the Oilers found themselves back in the game.

With the score standing at 52-51 in favor of the Pioneers, they went on another 6-2 run. It seemed the Oilers might not get over the hump.

Finally, it was Kimbrough tying the game up at 69 with just over a minute to play. However, with Malone in control of the ball with thirty seconds to play, it appeared the Oilers might suffer their first defeat at home.

“It was really a crazy situation,” said Ernst of what was to follow.

Following a Malone miss in the final seconds, Taren Sullivan grabbed the rebound and tossed it to Stern-Tucker. The junior went the length of the floor and with the clock reading zeros, the referees called a foul as he flipped up a shot.

Following review it was ruled that Stern-Tucker was fouled with 0.4 seconds on the clock. After he buried the first free throw he missed the second on purpose and the game was over.

Kimbrough led the offense for Findlay scoring 20 points, while John Staley chipped in 11 on 5-6 shooting.

The Oilers are sitting in third place in the conference with one game remaining. They trail Ashland University by a game and Saginaw Valley State University by two games.

The Oilers have clinched home court advantage for the first game of the tournament, which is set for March 1. Should they win that game the semi-finals and finals are played on March 5 and 6 at the highest remaining seed in the tournaments home court for each round.

Looking ahead to the regional tournament, the Oilers have been ranked ninth in the Midwest. With only eight teams making the tournament, they will look to take home the GLIAC tournament for the automatic bid.

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