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Men’s Basketball: Oilers start fast, dismantle Fighting Scots

staff writer
Charlie Ernst wanted a fast defensive start.
The University of Findlay men’s basketball team granted their coach’s request.
The No. 15-ranked Oilers surrendered only two points in the first 7 minutes to build a double-digit lead on Ohio Valley.
They never let the Fighting Scot within 10 points again and rolled to a 101-64 Great Midwest Athletic Conference victory.
“I thought we defended these guys a lot smarter than what we did there,” Ernst said. “They’re like most teams: they’re a lot better at home and their scores are indicative of that.”
Findlay and Ohio Valley’s resumes prior to Thursday presented all the possibilities of a blowout.
The Oilers (24-3, 18-1) had already clinched a GMAC regular season title and improved to 11-0 at home. The Fighting Scots (3-19, 2-14) remained in the league’s basement and have yet to earn a road victory (0-11).
Though, UF only defeated OVU 86-73 in Vienna, West Virginia the first time around.
“Tonight was definitely an execution kind of night,” junior forward Alex White said. “… The big thing tonight was winning every four minutes and we did that every four minutes of the game.
UF senior Martyce Kimbrough scored the first five points of the game, the first off a second-chance 3-pointer and the next a layup off a turnover.
He finished with a game-high 23 points in just 19 minutes for his 10th 20-point game this season.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Scots attacked the rim early and often with little success when they weren’t turning the ball over.
Aleksandar Djordjevic finally put them on the board at the 16:56 mark.
By the time the OVU scored again, the Oilers extended out to a 16-4 lead. Each of UF’s five starters chipped in a bucket in the 11-0 run.
”That was a big piece of practice for sure,” White said, citing a slower start in Tuesday’s 84-56 win against Cedarville. “Obviously we were happy with the win but we weren’t happy with the first 5 minutes. As starters, four seniors and me a junior, it was definitely was something we wanted to take pride in.”
Defensively, the Oilers thrived off a season-high 18 steals, 11 by halftime.
Yet Ernst didn’t feel they were fully capitalizing off their first-half total.
Six different UF players recorded a steal, four with at least two, led by Trey Smith’s three.
“If there was one thing I was disappointed about it was we didn’t capitalize off those turnovers,” Ernst said.
Despite an average shooting first half from long range (6 of 16), Findlay still carried a 50-32 lead into halftime cemented by a Smith 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The Oilers gradually shied away from the 3-ball after largely relying on it early.
“They tempt you to take good shots,” Ernst said. “At time we could’ve gotten great shots.”
Findlay kept its foot on the pedal by scoring on its first four possessions of the second half.
White converted two post moves and Kimbrough knocked in a jumper and a 3-pointer.
White totaled eight points and six rebounds.
Ernst let his bench close out the final 12:16 of the game.
Together, they worked the lead up from 70-49 to 83-53 in just 5 minutes.
They outscored Ohio Valley’s bench 51-34 in all.
Smith totaled 12 points off the bench with three steals.
Tommy Schmock added 11 points, four assists and two steals while Matt Ashley, Aaron Overhiser and Anthony Masterlasco each had six points.
“At times our fans have been able to get a glimpse of our future,” Ernst said. “Tommy and Trey, I thought tonight, really played well. They disrupted, getting better at their positioning.”
Taren Sullivan endured a tough 2-of-11 shooting night but did lead the Oilers in rebounding (seven) and make four assists.
The biggest thing to Ernst was Sullivan not thinking about leaping high for rebounds or to throw down alley oops.
“That’s the thing I’m most excited about,” Ernst said. “He was running hard, exploring in transition.”
Findlay has one regular season game remaining before hosting the GMAC tournament.
The Oilers host Hillsdale (18-7, 12-6) at 1 p.m. on Feb. 25.

Ohio Valley (3-20, 2-15 GMAC)
Demetrio 0-4 0-0 0, Alley 5-10 1-3 12, Djordjevi 2-8 0-0 4, Harrison 5-8 0-0 12, Mitchell 1-3 0-0 2, Myers 0-0 0-0 0, Kengne 4-7 0-0 8, Djordjevic 1-2 2-2 4, Dobson 6-12 1-2 16, Black 2-5 0-0 6, Ntihemuka 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 26-59 4-7 — 64.
FIndlay (24-3, 18-1 GMAC)
Sullivan 2-11 3-4 7, White 4-6 0-1 8, Gardner 2-4 0-0 5, Kimbrough 7-12 5-5 23, Kahlig 3-6 0-0 7, Smith 5-7 1-2 12, Schmock 5-8 0-0 11, Masterlasco 3-3 0-0 6, Wildermuth 2-2 1-2 5, M. Ashley 3-4 0-0 6, N. Ashley 1-1 0-0 2, Overhiser 2-4 1-2 3, Linder 1-3 0-0 3, Buford 0-0 0-0 0, Garverick 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 40-72 11-16 — 101.
3-Point GOALS: Ohio Valley 8-20 (Dobson 3-7, Black 2-4, Harrison 2-4, Alley 1-1, Mitchell 0-1, Kengne 0-1, Djordjevi 0-2); Findlay 10-25 (Kimbrough 4-7, Overhiser 1-1, Gardner 1-2, Smith 1-2, Schmock 1-2, Linder 1-3, Kahlig 1-4, M. Ashley 0-1, Sullivan 0-3).
rebounds: Ohio Valley 33 (Demetrio & Black 5); Findlay 35 (Sullivan 7, White 6).
ASSISTS: Ohio Valley 7 (Djordjevi & Black 3); Findlay 21 (Schmock 5).
STEALS: Ohio Valley 5 (Black 2); Findlay 18 (Sullivan 4).
BLOCKS: Ohio Valley 2 (Black & Harrison); Findlay 4 (White, Smith, M. Ashley, Overhiser).
TURNOVERS: Ohio Valley 23, Findlay 7.
TOTAL FOULS: Ohio Valley 14, Findlay 13
FOULED OUT: Harrison.
HALFTIME: Findlay, 50-32.
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