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Cummings wins 100th game as head coach of Oilers

By BRIAN LESTER

STAFF WRITER

TIFFIN — Laura Piehl and her University of Findlay teammates were armed with water bottles as they stood in the locker room after the game Saturday afternoon.

The Oilers had just blasted Tiffin University 62-44 at the Gilmor Center, stretching their win streak to six games and delivering head coach Kate Cummings’ 100th win as the Findlay coach.

Cummings, who has the Oilers on pace for their second NCAA Division II tournament berth in program history, had no idea she was about to get an unexpected shower.

“We were all in there and had our water bottles, and we were ready for her,” Piehl said. “We asked if she would mind and she said it was fine. We all took advantage of it.”

Cummings, who is 100-85 at Findlay and 304-188 overall, emerged drenched from the locker room after Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference encounter.

“Oh my gosh, I had no idea,” Cummings said. “It has nothing to do with me. I’ve had phenomenal assistants and great players.”

Piehl, a senior guard who missed the all of last year and half of this season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, has been a part of those wins.

On this day, she scored 7 points as the Oilers (17-4, 14-3 GLIAC) completed a season sweep of the Dragons and remain in second in the overall conference standings.

“It’s awesome to win this game for her. I’m real happy for her,” Piehl said. “This was a big game because the (NCAA) regional rankings are coming out soon and we want to be in a good position. We knew Tiffin would play us tough. We had to play hard.”

Findlay shot 36.4 percent (20 of 55) from the field and once again leaned on an aggressive defense that forced the Dragons (10-11, 7-10) into 20 turnovers.

Tiffin shot only 31.9 percent (15 of 47) from the floor.

“We’ve been working a lot harder on our defensive rotation in the quarter-court,” Cummings said. “We did a better job of stopping the dribble-drive and forced them to make the extra pass. We didn’t get a lot of turnovers in the open court, but we made them take a lot of low shot clock shots.”

Offensively, former Riverdale star Kayla Brown led the way. The senior poured in 17 points and also tallied three rebounds and two steals. Karli Beasley clicked for 10 points and three other players scored seven or more, including 6-foot-6 Western Michigan transfer Andrea Kras, who scored a season-high 8 points.

“We are still riding Kayla’s back, but it was fun to see Andrea step up,” Cummings said. “This is a fun group to coach. I love our depth and we have to continue to keep getting better.”

The Oilers took control early against the Dragons, surging in front 23-9 and led 29-17 at halftime.

Now Findlay shifts its attention to the No. 1 team in the country. Ashland (24-0, 17-0) comes to town for an 8 p.m. game on Thursday at Croy Gymnasium. The Eagles defeated Malone 75-55 on Saturday. They knocked off Findlay 72-41 in Ashland last month.

findlay (17-4, 14-3)

Wuebker 2-6 0-0 4, Dotson 1-4 0-0 2, Brown 7-12 2-2 17, Andrews 1-5 0-0 2, Elam 1-6 1-4 3, Maggert 0-1 0-0 0, Beasley 3-7 4-5 10, Klausing 0-2 1-2 1, Kessler 1-3 5-6 8, Grevenkamp 0-1 0-0 0, Piehl 2-5 3-3 7, Lewis 0-1 0-0 0, Kras 2-2 4-5 8. TOTALS: 20-55 20-27–62.

tiffin (10-11, 7-10)

Storlie 0-7 0-0 0, Kelly 3-10 0-0 8, Gilliland 0-6 4-4 4, Harris 2-5 4-4 8, Adams 2-6 2-3 6, Campball 1-1 0-0 2, Fraley 0-2 0-0 0, Byrd 1-4 1-2 3, Farr 3-3 0-6 6, Mathis 3-3 1-1 7. TOTALS: 15-47 12-20–44.

HALFTIME: Findlay, 29-17.

3-Point GOALS: Findlay 2-16 (Kessler 1-1, Brown 1-5, Piehl 0-1, Andrews 0-3, Elam 0-3, Beasley); Tiffin 2-13 (Kelly 2-5, Byrd 0-1, Gilliland 0-3, Storlie 0-4).

rebounds: Findlay 36 (Lewis 5); Tiffin 34 (Harris 8, Storlie & Adams 5). ASSISTS: Findlay 10 (Elam, Klausing & Kessler 2); Tiffin 14 (Kelly 7). STEALS: Findlay 10 (Andrews & Elam 3); Tiffin 8 (Storlie, Kelly & Byrd 2). BLOCKS: Findlay 2; Tiffin 4 (Harris 3).

TURNOVERS: Findlay 11, Tiffin 20. TOTAL FOULS: Findlay 20, Tiffin 20. FOULED OUT: Tiffin, Adams.

Follow me on Twitter @BLester1993.