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Oilers keep hope alive of making the GLIAC tournament

By BRIAN LESTER

PAINESVILLE — Sometimes the ball doesn’t bounce your way, the breaks don’t work in your favor. Like on Thursday night when the University of Findlay women’s basketball team gave a valiant effort in an 88-80 road loss to defending NCAA Division II national champion Ashland University at Kates Gymnasium.

The Oilers just couldn’t make the plays at the end, but the effort, even in defeat, was impressive.

It was a different story on Saturday for UF, which brought a similar effort and took care of business against Lake Erie College, knocking off the Storm 85-68 and keeping hope alive of making the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament.

UF had no option but to win the game and the Oilers came out ready to go and got the job done.

It hasn’t been an easy year for the Oilers, who finished last season as the GLIAC tournament runner-up and played in the NCAA tournament for only the second time in program history.

Consistency has been an issue, but lately, the Oilers have played with much more consistency and effort, and it’s paying off as they have won two of their last three games.

Karli Beasley stepped up on Saturday to lead the way against the Storm. She played determined all afternoon and scored a career-high 22 points.

Karli Bonar came through with 14 points and Nikki Gunning finished with 10 points.

It was a good team win for the Oilers, who are in 10th in the overall standings and need to finish in the top eight to make the tournament.

The Oilers still have a little time to make it happen. But they need to win the next three games and then hope it’s enough.

UF is certainly capable of getting the job done.

¨We’ve been playing well lately and we look forward to next week,” UF head coach Jim Wiedie said. ¨The key for us is to be consistent. When we focus defensively and play with energy, we can beat anyone we play.¨

Follow me on Twitter: @BLester1993