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Men’s Basketball: UF withstands Hillsdale’s charge

Hillsdale College made the run that Charlie Ernst thought they would.
The University of Findlay men’s basketball coach saw his team withstand that rally without crumbling.
The Oilers never let the Chargers get too close before finishing them off 88-74 Thursday at Croy Gymnasium in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown.
“We’ve had enough games so far this year that we’ve let up some leads and we find ways to end the game on top,” junior forward Taren Sullivan said. “I don’t think we were so surprised from that point.”
Sullivan supplemented his career scoring night of 28 points with nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks.
He scored 16 by halftime and finished 12 of 15 from the field.
“Once a couple shots went in early I just had it in my head that there wasn’t anyone on the court that night that could stop me,” Sullivan said. “I knew if I take it to the hole I have a way higher-percentage shot.”
The Oilers (17-5, 11-4 GLIAC) took a commanding 44-25 lead into halftime and worked it up to 53-30 in the opening minutes of the second half.
After a 3-pointer by Elijah Kahlig staked the Oilers to a 62-40 lead with 12:19 left, UF suffered a scoreless drought that lasted 3:35.
In that span, the Chargers made their move with a 12-0 run to pull within 62-52.
Sullivan followed up the last score of the run by taking the ball right to the hole for a score.
“Taren is a guy that wants to be coached, improve on his weaknesses,” Ernst said. “Tonight he didn’t show a weakness. When he does that, I’m not sure there’s a more well-rounded, tougher matchup in the conference than him.”
Hillsdale (10-11, 6-9) picked up the pace of its normally slow and methodical motion offense to shoot 9 of 16 from 3-point range in the second half.
The Chargers pulled as close as 76-68 with 2:14 to go.
Trey Smith, Sullivan and Kahlig each knocked down a pair of free throws to put the game away.
The energetic first half was a complete reversal of the first meeting between the two teams.
Following a 80-65 decisive loss Jan. 12 at Hillsdale, Ernst noted the energy level and effort wasn’t where it needed to be right from the get go.
Sullivan said he knew there was an edge being at home for the rematch.
“We thought about it before the game, getting them back,” Sullivan said. “We just played our game, things were going but the main part that got us going was our defense.”
Sullivan made two 3s, one open from the right wing and another straight up from NBA range, in a 17-2 run that put UF up 19-6 just 5 minutes in.
Findlay shot 59.3 percent (35 of 59) from the field, including 10 of 20 on 3-pointers.
Tyler Stern-Tucker and Martyce Kimbrough each put in 15 points while Kahlig hit three 3-pointers en route to 13 points.
Smith chipped in 10 points and a steal off the bench, making all three shots from the field with two 3-pointers.
Half of his points came in a 19 second burst late.
He knocked down an open 3-pointer from the corner, assisted by Sullivan, picked off a pass inside the arc at the other end and took it all the way for a lay-in off the glass to give UF a 72-58 lead with 6:13 minutes to go.
Nick Czarnowski came off the bench and led Hillsdale with 17 points and seven rebounds.
“Probably the North Division teams are looking at our boxscores and are trying to figure out who Trey Smith is,” Ernst said. “The same can be said about Nick Czarnowski. He was kind of an afterthought early in the year but over the last couple games he’s become more of a factor.”

HILLSDALE (10-1, 6-10 GLIAC)
Archer 0-4 0-0 — 0, Smith 3-4 0-0 — 7, Badowski 6-10 0-0 — 15, Neveau 1-5 0-0 — 3, S. Lowry 4-12 0-0 — 10, Niego 4-7 0-0 — 11, Cordes 0-1 0-0 — 0, D. Lowry 3-7 2-2 — 8, Travlos 1-1 0-0 — 3, Czarnowski 8-12 1-2 — 17. TOTALS: 30-63 3-4 — 74.
FINDLAY (17-5, 11-4 GLIAC)
Sullivan 12-15 2-2 — 28, Stern-Tucker 7-13 1-1 — 15, R. Smith 1-2 0-0 — 2, Kimbrough 6-13 1-1 —15, Kahlig 4-6 2-2 — 13, Singleton 1-2 0-0 — 2, M. Ashley 1-1 0-0 — 3, Overhiser 0-4 0-0 — 0. TOTALS: 35-59 8-8 — 88.
3-Point GOALS: Hillsdale 11-26 (Archer 0-2, Smith 1-2, Badowski 3-5, Neveau 1-1, S. Lowry 2-7, Niego 3-5, D. Lowry 0-3, Travlos 1-1); Findlay 10-20 (Sullivan 2-3, Stern-Tucker 0-2, Kimbrough 2-7, Kahlig 3-4, Singleton 0-1, M. Ashley 1-1, T. Smith 2-2).
rebounds: Hillsdale 29 (Czarnowski 7); Findlay 28 (Sullivan 9).
ASSISTS: Hillsdale 18 (D. Lowry 7); Findlay 22 (Kimbrough & Sullivan 6).
STEALS: Hillsdale 5 (Niego 2); Findlay 5.
BLOCKS: Hillsdale 2 (Badowski & Czarnowski); Findlay 6 (Sullivan & R. Smith 2).
TURNOVERS: Hillsdale 14; Findlay 12.
TOTAL FOULS: Hillsdale 11; Findlay 9.
HALFTIME: Findlay, 44-25.