HOUGHTON - The University of Findlay men's basketball team won their second straight Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament title on the road with a 75-69 win over Lake Superior State University on March 10 in Houghton, Mich. The Oilers are the first team in conference history to win back-to-back titles on the road and their seven tournament championships are the most in league history.
The Oilers fell behind by a score of 31-29 at the half as they were out-rebounded by a 22-8 margin in the opening period. The Oilers then picked up their intensity in the second half and came away with another trophy as well as an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division II National Tournament.
Findlay opened the second half on a 10-1 run in the first three minutes of the second half. They then continued their torrid pace, opening up a 17-point lead on a three pointer by senior guard Aaron Robinson with 11:01 to play.
After the offensive explosion by the Oilers in the first ten minutes of the second half, the Lakers countered with a run and cut the lead to five at 64-59 with 2:36 to play. Junior forward Greg Kahlig then scored four straight points, but the Lakers once again got back into the game and were within four points at 73-69 with only four seconds remaining. Junior guard Sean Samsel then made two from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
The Oilers shot 45.1 percent (23-of-51) from the floor and held the Lakers to a 38.3 percent (23-of-60) shooting clip. They also hit 22-of-26 (84.6%) attempts from the free throw line and registered nine steals in the game.
Senior forward Brad Piehl led the way with 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks en route to GLIAC Tournament MVP honors.
Kahlig added 12 points and four rebounds while freshman forward Dylan Kaufman had 12 points off the bench. Both players were rewarded for their efforts as they earned spots on the GLIAC all-tournament team.
Sophomore forward Jake Heagen and senior forward Jack Smith each had nine points while Robinson and Samsel contributed eight points apiece.
Derek Kinney led the Lakers with 18 points and ten boards while Derek Billing and Rashaun Carroll each scored 12.
The Oilers, who improved to 22-7 on the year with the win, will now prepare for the NCAA Tournament, which begins on Saturday, March 10. The Oilers opponent and location of the game will be determined tonight during the NCAA Selection Show, scheduled to air on NCAA.com around 10:30 p.m.