By BRIAN LESTER
The Matchup: University of Findlay vs. Ohio Dominican at Croy Gymnasium in Findlay, Ohio. Game time set for 6 p.m.
Records: Oilers are 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Panthers are 3-10 overall and 0-8 in the conference.
Series: UF leads 22-6. Oilers won 85-67 at home and earned an 80-61 win on the road last season.
Last Time Out: The Oilers turned the ball over 23 times and fell 65-61 to Wayne State in overtime in Detroit on Saturday.
UF played hard from start to finish but allowed the Warriors to score 25 points off the turnovers as it had its five-game win streak snapped.
Jack Smith scored 17 points and Brad Piehl added 13 points for the Oilers, who shot 37.9 percent from the field. Greg Khalig and Aaron Robinson clicked for 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Oilers held a 42-36 edge on the boards and led by as many 11 points in the game. Mark Frilling pulled down seven rebounds.
ODU fell 76-60 to Northwood on the road Saturday as it lost its ninth consecutive game.
The Panthers led 35-34 at the half but couldn’t seal the deal against the Timberwolves. Morgan Jones scored 18 points and Bobby Stauffer added 12 points and 10 rebounds.
ODU shot 37.5 percent from the field and turned the ball over 13 times.
Scouting the Opponent: ODU comes in averaging 66.9 points per outing and is giving up 76.3 points per game.
The Panthers are shooting 39.5 percent from the field and25.4 percent from beyond the arc. They are allowing opponents to shoot 45.7 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
ODU is averaging 14.8 turnovers per game and forcing 13 per outing. The Panthers have allowed 70 or more seven times and have scored 70 or more five times. The Panthers are just 1-5 on the road this season.
Senior guard Morgan Jones is leading the team in scoring at 17.4 ppg. He has drilled 23 treys and has tallied 14 steals.
Sophomore center Bobby Stauffer is clicking for 12.2 ppg and is grabbing 7.5 rebounds per game.
Freshman guard Mark Minch is pumping in 8.5 points per outing and is grabbing 4.5 rebounds per game.
Former Findlay High standout Brock Ammons plays for the Panthers and is averaging 2.4 points and 2.0 rebounds per game.
One to Watch: Jake Heagen will be back after suffering a cut above his eye last week against Saginaw Valley State and my guess is the sophomore forward will be eager to get back on the floor.
Heagen is averaging 8.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game while also dishing out 16 assists and tallying 13 steals.
With Heagen back, along with the recent success of Jack Smth, the Oilers should be tough to deal with inside. Heagen plays hard and he plays with a lot of confidence and should have a solid performance against the Panthers.
Around the GLIAC: Ashland at Walsh; Michigan Tech at Ferris State; Lake Erie at Malone; Lake Superior State at Saginaw Valley State; Hillsdale at Tiffin; Northern Michigan at Grand Valley State; Northwood at Wayne State. Check out the GLIAC basketball page for more information.
The Oilers are back home at Croy Gymnasium this week as they take on the Panthers in what will be one of only three games they will play at home this month.
UF is coming off a tough loss in a game it knows it should have won. I have to admit I’ve never seen a UF team play so well in Detroit and lose. The Oilers gave a tremendous effort and would have won had it not been for turnovers.
But it’s in the past. In this league, you have to forget about losses quick and the Oilers shouldn’t have much of a problem beating the Panthers as long as they play up to their potential.
ODU has shown signs of promise but has had its confidence shaken often. The Oilers have to capitalize on that by jumping on top early and maintaining a consistent effort until the end of the game.
It will start with how the Oilers defend. Jones is the go-to player for the Panthers and UF has to be able to force him into a tough night quickly. If Jones isn’t effective, the Panthers will have a hard time getting on track.
Offensively, the Oilers just need to take care of the ball. They have have plenty of options and this should be a game where a lot of players get involved. The depth of UF should make a difference.
The most important thing for UF is to not play down to the level of competition. The Oilers have made a lot of strides lately and this is a chance for them to keep moving forward and work on becoming even sharper at executing on both ends of the floor.
As I said before, if UF plays the way it is capable of playing, the Oilers win easily.
I’ll have more on the game when I arrive at the gym. You can follow me on Twitter as well @BLester1993. Enjoy the game everyone.
Update: This one will be in the books soon. Oilers on top 83-46 as they are clicking on all cylinders. UF getting it done on both ends of the floor and well on its way to its 10th win of the season.
Update: Oilers have done a good job of being balanced on offense tonight. Everyone is getting involved as UF pulls in front 64-38. Jack Smith just hit a trey and Mark Frilling scored on a reverse layup.
One of the big keys to success tonight is the job A-Rob has done defensively against Morgan Jones. Jones has only 8 points. He came in averaging 17.
Update: Brad Piehl hits a jumper and the Oilers lead 56-36 with 15:25 to go in the second half. Oilers have done a good job of playing at a high level even with the big lead.
Update: Oilers have come out playing hard in the second half. Greg Kahlig drills the first field goal of the half for UF, nailing a trey as Oilers lead 54-36 with 16:16 left in the second half.
Update: Oilers shot 51.7 percent from the floor in the opening half and lead the Panthers 48-29. Greg Kahlig dropped in 14 points and A-Rob clicked for 12. UF has only turned the ball over seven times.
The key is to maintain a high level of play in the second half and finish the job.
Update: Oilers go into halftime with a 48-29 lead. A-Rob hits a couple of free throws and then drills a pull-up trey as UF surges into the break. ODU made a bit of a run late in the halft o get within 11 but the Oilers are in control and now just need to seal the deal.
Update: UF in front 36-22 with 3:54 to go in the half. Oilers have started to pick up the pace on both ends of the floor. As long as UF continues to play hard, it won’t have any trouble getting a win.
Update: The Oilers lead the Panthers 25-15 with 7:43 to go in the opening half. The bench provided a big lift as Josh Brown hit a trey and Mark Frilling scored on a jumper.
Brad Piehl has stepped up as well hitting two free throws and a jumper. He’s also getting the job done rebounding the ball.
Update: Here we go UF fans. The second half is underway from Croy.
Update: Oilers have gone to their bench to provide a spark. UF leads 16-12 with 11:41 to go in the half. UF needs to string together some good offensive possessions and crank it up a notch on defense.
Update: Oilers have jumped on top early, building a 10-5 lead on the strength of a couple of 3-pointers and good defense.
Update: Starting lineups being announced. It’s game time at Croy Gymnasium.
Update: About to get going here at Croy. Oilers and Panthers ready to battle in a GLIAC South Division opener.
Update: Oilers closing in on the opening tip. I expect UF to set the tone early with its defense and play with a bit of a chip on their shoulder after losing a game on Saturday that they know they should have won.
Update: UF seems focused and ready to go tonight. Home games mean everything in this conference and with the Oilers already two games down in the chase to host the conference tourney, they have to get the job done here tonight and on Saturday before heading back out on the road.
Update: I have arrived at Croy as the Oilers warm up for tonight’s game against the Panthers. UF will play South Division opponents from here on out and they need to jump on the Panthers early tonight and not let them have a chance to get into the game.
Although UF lost on Saturday, it played hard and that is a good sign for this team. The Oilers have made a lot of strides over the last few weeks and this is the time of the year where they need to get on a roll.