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UF women’s basketball team edges Wayne State in overtime

By BRIAN LESTER

STAFF WRITER

DETROIT — Cheers erupted from inside the University of Findlay women’s basketball team’s locker room late Saturday afternoon, and for good reason.

The Oilers had just survived a grueling overtime battle with Wayne State University, winning 90-84.

It is a win that not only keeps Findlay tied for third overall in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, but it completes a run where they won six of eight games against North Division opponents.

Findlay entered the season with high expectations, and closing the game on a 12-6 run to secure the victory solidified the team’s confidence.

“I could not be any more proud of my team, and I told the players to be proud of themselves,” head coach Kate Cummings said. “We did a lot of things right today and it’s going to be an exciting month for us.”

Findlay held a 36-33 lead at halftime, but was never able to establish any breathing room against the Warriors, even after taking a 56-43 margin with 11:54 to go in regulation on two free throws by Tai Dotson.

Wayne State hung around thanks to a phenomenal 58-28 rebounding effort. The Warriors got a solid performance from Talisha Bridges, who scored 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Both teams scored 44 points in the paint, but the Oilers (9-3, 6-2 GLIAC) overcame the inside presence of the Warriors by scoring 25 points off turnovers.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that Findlay made several big plays in the final minutes of overtime against the Warriors (7-4, 5-2). Karli Beasley drilled a trey that gave the Oilers an 82-78 lead, and Lacey Kessler scored on a layup that put Findlay in front 84-82.

Dotson also scored on a layup, Ashley Andrews hit a free throw and Kendra Elam connected on three free tosses.

“Wayne State did a phenomenal job rebounding the ball,” Cummings said. “They found a way to do their thing, but we made plays down the stretch.”

Kessler, a former Riverdale standout, made a layup with 54 seconds left in regulation to give the Oilers a 75-71 advantage. Bridges, however, hit a jumper in the lane with five seconds left to tie the game at 75-75.

Findlay had already lost one overtime game this season, falling 81-77 to Urbana last month.

“Our demeanor and the way we carried ourselves this time was completely different than the last overtime game we played,” Cummings said. “We learned from that experience and we know that if we want to be successful, we have to be able to win close games.”

Former Riverdale star Kayla Brown paced Findlay with 25 points. Dotson added 17 points and pulled down 10 rebounds; Kessler had 15 points and three steals; and Kendra Elam pumped in 10 points.

Findlay returns to action at 8 p.m. Thursday when it hosts Ohio Dominican at Croy Gymnasium. The Panthers (4-7, 1-7) lost 66-59 to Northwood on Saturday.

findlay (9-3, 6-2)

Wuebker 2-4 2-2 6, Dotson 7-10 2-6 17, Brown 7-17 10-11 25, Beasley 1-4 1-2 4, Andrews 0-3 4-6 4, Maggert 0-0 0-0 0, Kenny 0-0 0-0 0, Klausing 2-6 1-2 5, Elam 2-4 5-6 10, Kessler 4-9 7-12 15, Grevenkamp 0-2 0-0 0, Piehl 1-1 1-2 3, Lewis 0-2 1-2 1. TOTALS: 26-62 34-51–90.

wayne state (7-4, 5-2)

T. Bridges 9-18 7-9 25, Lock 1-4 0-0 2, Cochran 6-14 5-10 17, Thomas 1-3 0-0 3, Streetman 3-14 0-2 8, Colbert 1-3 3-3 5, Crumpton 5-11 5-7 15, Long 1-3 0-0 2, Redfield 0-1 2-3 2, Stoyka 0-0 0-0 0, K. Bridges 0-0 0-0 0, Srebernak 2-6 0-0 5. TOTALS: 29-77 22-34–84.

HALFTIME: Tied 75-75.

3-Point GOALS: Findlay 4-18 (Beasley 1-1, Dotson 1-1, Elam 1-2, Brown 1-6, Wuebker 0-1, Grevenkamp 0-1, Andrews 0-2, Klausing 0-2, Kessler 0-2); Wayne State 4-18 (Streetman 2-10, Thomas 1-2, Srebernak 1-4, Crumpton 0-1, Long 0-1).

rebounds: Findlay 43 (Dotson 10, Kessler 8); Wayne State 58 (Cochran 15, Lock 8, Bridges 7). ASSISTS: Findlay 11 (Andrews 3, Beasley & Klausing 2); Wayne State 19 (Thomas 6). STEALS: Findlay 15 (Dotson, Brown & Kessler 3); Wayne State 9 (Streetman & Srebernak 2). BLOCKS: Findlay 3, Wayne State 2.

TURNOVERS: Findlay 18, Wayne State 24. TOTAL FOULS: Findlay 25, Wayne State 31. FOULED OUT: Findlay, Brown; Wayne State, Lock, Cochran & Colbert).

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