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UF women’s basketball team blasts Racers

By BRIAN LESTER
STAFF WRITER

Shots weren’t always easy to come by, but the University of Findlay women’s basketball team was able to get the job done against the University of Northwestern Ohio by crashing the boards and getting after it on defense.

The Oilers held a 51-35 rebounding edge and forced 29 turnovers as they blasted the Racers 72-40 in the final nonconference game of the season Saturday afternoon at Croy Gymnasium. Both statistics made up for the fact that UF shot only 40.9 percent (27-of-66) from the field.

“We didn’t shoot that well, but when you rebound and you defend, it makes up for everything else,” UF head coach Kate Cummings said. “We gave a great effort and did a very good job of wearing them down.”

All 15 players saw action for the Oilers (7-3), including Laura Piehl, who was back on the floor for the first time since November 2011 when she tore her Anterior Cruciate Ligament in an exhibition game against Bowling Green.

Piehl provided an emotional lift, scoring 5 points and grabbing three rebounds in six minutes of work. Her layup with 7:44 to go gave UF a 60-32 advantage. Piehl, playing with a brace on her knee, played six minutes and was 2-of-3 from the field.

“It was special for her to come back. I’m so happy for her,” Cummings said. “This was a good game for her to get her feet wet again. I didn’t expect her to score, but to see her do that means a lot.”

The Oilers struggled to shoot early, missing several outside shots as the Racers built an 11-6 advantage with 11:53 to go in the opening half.

But UF got back into the game by playing hard on the defensive end of the floor and making it tough for the Racers to get open looks at the basket. In fact, UNO would make only one field goal the rest of the half as it went into the break trailing 34-17.

The Oilers forced the Racers into 16 first-half turnovers and 29 for the game. Only Angie Cates (10 points) scored in double figures for UNO, which shot 24 percent (12-of-50) from the floor.

“We wanted to play aggressive,” Cummings said. “We weren’t afraid to do it today and I thought that was one of our keys to success.”

UF didn’t let up in the second half, leading by as many as 32 in the second half after former Riverdale standout Lacey Kessler hit two free throws to give the Oilers a 66-34 advantage with 4:32 remaining.

Former Riverdale star Kayla Brown poured in 15 points and also got the job done on defense by coming up with four steals. Tai Dotson and Margaret Wuebker scored nine points apiece. Dotson also led the rebounding effort with 11 boards.

“We got a lot of players in the game today, and we said that we would do that if everyone played hard,” Cummings said.

“Everyone played hard and got valuable playing time. It’s going to be a benefit for us in the long run.”

UF now returns to conference play as it will battle Saginaw Valley State at 8 p.m. Thursday night at the Ryder Center in University Center, Mich. The Cardinals are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the GLIAC. UF is 4-2 in the conference.

“It’s a chance for us to get another win against a team from the North (Division),” Cummings said. “Every game in our conference is tough, especially on the road, and we have to be ready to play hard.”

UNIVERSITY OF NW OHIO (5-10)

Kahlig 0-6 4-4 4, Warman 21-9 2-2 7, Cates 4-10 0-1 10, Hopfner 1-4 0-0 3, Meyer 1–5 0-3 2, Derisevic 2-5 2-2 7, McFadgen 0-0 0-1 0, Boening 2-5 0-0 6, Harshman 0-4 1-2 1, Smith 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS: 12-50 9-15–40.

Findlay (7-3)

Wuebker 2-2 5-5 9, Dotson 4-13 1-2 9, Brown 7-10 1-1 15, Beasley 1-4 0-0 2, Andrews 0-3 2-2 2, Maggert 0-2 0-0 0, Kenny 2-4 2-2 7, Klausing 1-2 0-0 2, Elam 2-5 0-0 5, Grisdela 0-2 0-0 0, Kessler 0-1 2-4 2, Grevenkamp 3-7 0-1 7, Piehl 2-3 1-4 5, Lewis 1-4 1-2 3, Kras 2-4 0-0 4. TOTALS: 27-66 15-23–72.

HALFTIME: Findlay, 34-17.

3-Point GOALS: Findlay 3-16 (Brown 0-3, Beasley 0-1, Andrews 0-3, Maggert 0-2, Kenny 1-2, Klausing 0-1, Elam 1-2, Grevenkamp 1-2); Northwestern Ohio 7-22 (Kahlig 0-1, Warman 1-7, Cates 2-5, Hopfner 1-3, Dersevic 1-1, Boening 2-4, Smith 0-1).

rebounds: Findlay 51 (Dotson 11, Grevenkamp 7); Northwestern Ohio 35 (Dersevic 8, Kahlig 7).

turnovers: Northwestern Ohio 29, Findlay 18.

ASSISTS: Findlay 18 (Beasley 4); Northwestern Ohio 12 (Cates 4).

STEALS: Findlay 16 (Brown 4); Northwestern Ohio 6 (Cates 2).

BLOCKED SHOTS: Findlay 3 (Lewis 2); Northwestern Ohio 2.

FOULS: Findlay 20, Northwestern Ohio 17.

FOULED OUT: Northwestern Ohio, Warman.

Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993 or send me an email at brianlester@thecourier.com.