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HomeOrange & Black AttackMen’s Basketball: National runner-up Fairmont State comes to Croy

Men’s Basketball: National runner-up Fairmont State comes to Croy

By ANDY WOLF
STAFF WRITER
The University of Findlay men’s basketball team has already played giant-killer twice this season.
It’s likely been to the surprise of no one.
The No. 20-ranked Oilers can do it again Wednesday.
Fairmont State doesn’t have a national ranking attached to its name. But the Fighting Falcons did reach the national title game a year ago.
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at Croy Gymnasium.
Both teams are 2-0 thus far with very different victories.
UF topped No. 6 Indiana (Pa.) 80-61 and No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas 69-65 in consecutive days.
FSU trailed at halftime in its two wins but still defeated St. Augustine (86-63) and Millersville (92-89) — which, combined, went 22-33 last season.
The Fighting Falcons appear to be hit heavier from graduation than the Oilers.
They lost their top two scorers from last season but return their next three leaders.
UF only graduated two seniors.
Last season, Fairmont rolled to a 98-80 home victory in its only ever meeting with UF.
Matt Bingaya, a first-team All-American by numerous publications, dropped 28 points on 13 of 14 from the field.
He’s gone along with his 19.0 points per game.
Scoring has not been a problem for Fairmont, yet.
Four players, two non-starters, average double figures.
Jason Jolly (5-foot-7, forward) went off for 32 points and six 3-pointers against Millersville. He’s their returning leading scorer at 12.5 ppg last year.
Seven different players have started for Fairmont in their two games.
Junior Vonte Montgomery (6-1, 185) and sophomore Andrew Emrick (6-9, 215) have each scored in double figures for both games this season.
UF will often have a depth advantage over most teams but Fairmont State appears to have the bodies to match as nine players averages at least 12 minutes over the first two games.
Of the 11 FSU players to reach the court, 10 have attempted a 3-pointer.
But the Oilers have defended the 3-pointer with very well against two quality shooting teams.
Collectively, IUP and Aquinas hit 6 of 29 attempts (20.7 percent) from beyond the arc — the ninth-best mark among teams who have played at least two games.
Meanwhile, the Oilers have kept the same starting five and should have no reason to mix it up Wednesday.
Taren Sullivan (18.0 ppg) and Martyce Kimbrough (15.0 ppg) are once again filling their roles as go-to scorers while being just as valuable in other areas.
And the rest of the roster has helped the Oilers shoot exactly 50 percent (55 of 110) so far.
When you combine UF’s wealth of experience, promising new faces and overall domination at Croy Gymnasium, the slight edge has to go to the home team.
This current class of seniors has helped UF post a 39-5 home record in the last three seasons.
Oh, and the Oilers have had 10 days to prepare.

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