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UF women’s hoops team caps fantastic February with win over Malone

By BRIAN LESTER

STAFF WRITER
CANTON — It turned out to be a fantastic February for the University of Findlay women’s basketball team.
The No. 25 Oilers capped a perfect run through the month with a 62-51 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over Malone University Saturday afternoon at Osborne Hall.
Findlay has won its last 10 games, the longest streak since a 12-game run during the 1999-00 campaign.

“One of the players told me we were undefeated in February. I would have never guessed that in a million years,” Findlay head women’s coach Kate Cummings said. “But this team is hungry and wants to get better. That is the key. It’s not just about the wins. It’s about improving, too.”

The Oilers (21-4, 18-3 GLIAC) took another step forward against the Pioneers (13-12, 9-12), shaking off a sluggish start to earn a win that keeps them in second place in the conference and as the runner-up in the NCAA Midwest Region as well. The top eight teams make the NCAA tournament.

“Malone is a good team. They have good athletes and we knew this was going to be tough,” Cummings said. “We responded every time they made a run and our team continues to develop each week and that is what we need.”

Kayla Brown paced the Oilers with 21 points. Tai Dotson finished 5 of 5 from the floor en route to 11 points and she had nine rebounds.

“She had about a week or so where she lost her confidence, but she has it back and she wants the ball in her hands,” Cummings said. “She did a good job today.”

Findlay shot 51.1 percent (23-of-45) from the field and made huge plays late in the closing minutes of the first half.

Ahead 22-19, Kendra Elam nailed a 3-pointer, Kelsey Lewis punctuated a fast break with a layup and Karli Beasley stole an inbounds pass and made a layup as the Oilers went into halftime with a 29-19 advantage.

“We got momentum off real easy baskets and it was a big boost of confidence,” Cummings said.

The Pioneers refused to back down in the second half, closing the gap to 12 points a couple of times. But the Oilers had an answer as they held the Pioneers to 40.8 percent (20 of 49) shooting from the floor.

Sydnee Penn and Logan Pastor scored 13 points apiece for Malone and Lindsy Snyder 10.

“You can prepare mentally for how tough a game like this is going to be, but it’s never easy to pull away for a win on the road,” Cummings said. “Our postseason is going to be on the road, and while it’s not always pretty, it’s all about finding a way to win.”

The Oilers, who are assured of a first-round home game in the conference tournament, will wrap up the regular season at 3 p.m. Saturday when they host Hillsdale College at Croy Gymnasium. The Chargers (11-13, 8-13) beat Walsh University 70-57 on Saturday.

Findlay (21-4, 18-3)

Wuebker 0-2 3-4 3, Dotson 5-5 1-2 11, Brown 10-15 0-0 21, Andrews 0-1 3-4 3, Elam 2-5 3-4 9, Maggert 0-0 0-0 0, Beasley 3-6 1-2 7, Klausing 1-4 0-0 2, Grevenkamp 0-1 1-2 1, Piehl 1-5 1-4 3, Lewis 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 23-45 13-22–62.

Malone (13-12, 9-12)

Penn 5-10 0-0 13, Seilhamer 1-6 0-0 2, Simmers 0-1 0-0 0, Pastor 6-9 0-0 13, Snyder 4-7 2-2 10, Myers 0-1 0-0 0, Burch 1-1 0-0 3, Reale 1-3 0-0 3, Raifsnyder 1-2 3-3 5, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0, Bardall 1-7 0-0 2, Brandon 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-49 5-5–51.

HALFTIME: Findlay, 29-19.

3-Point GOALS: Findlay 3-11 (Elam 2-5, Brown 1-3, Klausing 0-1, Grevenkamp 0-1, Andrews 0-1); Malone 6-20 (Penn 3-5, Burch 1-1, Pastor 1-2, Reale 1-3, Simmers 0-1, Myers 0-1, Jackson 0-1, Brandon 0-1, Bardall 0-2, Seilhamer 0-3).

rebounds: Findlay 32 (Dotson 9, Brown 6, Wuebker & Klausing 5); Malone 23 (Snyder 6). ASSISTS: Findlay 14 (Andrews & Klausing 4); Malone 12 (Seilhamer & Pastor 3). STEALS: Findlay 11 (Brown 3); Malone 4 (Seilhamer 2). BLOCKS: Findlay 0, Malone 0.

TURNOVERS: Findlay 16, Malone 18. TOTAL FOULS: Findlay 13, Malone 16. FOULED OUT: None.

Follow me on Twitter@BLester1993.