Findlay Shakes Off Slow Start to Knock Off Hillsdale
By Kevin Schrock
After a slow start in Croy Gymnasium at the University of Findlay on Thursday night, the Lady Oilers came back to knock off Hillsdale College in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) matchup. Findlay outscored the Chargers 35-25 in the second half and squeaked out a 70-63 win.
The Oiler offense was stagnant early on. Seven points from Christa Puthoff and five more from Jenna Stegmaier off the bench were the extent of their scoring in the quarter. Findlay found themselves down 18-12.
The encouraging part for Findlay was their effort on the boards. Up against the no. 3 rebounding team in the conference, they hit the glass hard.
“I thought that we made a point of emphasis to limit their chances on the offensive boards,” said Jim Wiedie, UF head women’s basketball coach. “I thought we were extremely active and anytime you win the rebounding battle that is a key component.”
By halftime the Oilers cut the deficit to three at 38-35. Their eight turnovers were the only thing that hurt them on offense.
Puthoff continued to roll and was the leading factor on the offensive end.
“Up there she only had five points and wasn’t much of a factor so we wanted to go inside to her early,” said Wiedie. “She did a good job of attacking and finishing and getting to the line a few times.”
The third quarter was a back and forth battle. After seven lead changes, the Oilers finally managed to take a 57-55 lead into the final period of play. This one would have its own set of difficulties.
After Anna Hintz buried a three pointer to put the Oilers up 65-56, the team went cold. Ice cold.
“I think a big thing for us today was that when we got that nine point lead we went a long time without scoring,” said Wiedie. “We still didn’t give the lead up and in games past when that happened it would effect the defensive side of the ball.”
For more than five minutes the Oilers didn’t score but managed to stymie the Charger offensive on the other end. When Lynsey Englebrecht finally connected on a jump shot Findlay still held a 67-60 lead. When the buzzer sounded less than three minutes later the Oilers had won 70-63.
Puthoff finished with 14 points and six rebounds while Hintz and Haley Horstman each contributed 11 to the final tally. Elissa Ellerbrock and Stegmaier came off the bench to lead the team with nine and seven rebounds respectively.
The win moves Findlay to 11-12 overall, 5-10 in the GLIAC and keeps their playoff hopes very much in play. They will get back in action next Thursday, Feb. 9 when they travel to Ohio Dominican University to try to make it three wins in a row.