There have been a few occasions over the years where the Hillsdale College men's basketball team was close to snapping its decade-long losing streak at the Croy Gymnasium on the campus of the University of Findlay. Monday night was one of those times, but the Chargers fell frustratingly short.
Thanks to a 29-point night from all-conference forwad Greg Kahlig, the Oilers defeated the Chargers 74-71 in a key South Division clash. Hillsdale is now 13-6 overall and 9-6 in the GLIAC after its second straight defeat. Hillsdale stays on the road to face Tiffin University Thursday night.
Hillsdale is winless at Findlay since Jan. 24, 2002.
This game featured 11 ties and nine lead changes, indicating the closeness of this game. The game's margin didn't exceed three points for either team over the game's final 10 minutes, but it was Findlay who made the shots when they counted the most.
Charger senior Tim Dezelski, who played little in the first half thanks to foul trouble, popped in a 3-pointer to put Hillsdale in front 58-55 with 7:30 to go. The Oilers responded with a 10-4 run to flip the three-point deficit into a three-point lead with 4:35 to play. From that point, the teams took turns making big shots, neither able to get any momentum.
Sophomore Kyle Cooper converted an offensive rebound for a layup giving the Chargers their last lead, 71-69, with 1:47 to play. But Kahlig hit what turned out to be the game-winning 3-pointer, 16 seconds later, to put Hillsdale behind by one. Hillsdale went scoreless on its final four possessions of the game from there.
Findlay was whistled for 12 fouls in the game compared to 23 for Hillsdale. The Oilers enjoyed a 26-15 edge on free throw attempts, but the Chargers didn't help themselves by shooting just 53 percent from the foul line (8-for-15). Hillsdale actually shot better on 3-point shots, going 11-for-20, in the game.
Dezelski went 7-for-10 from the floor and led the team with 17 points and 4 steals. Cooper was 6-for-8 and scored 15 with 7 rebounds, while senior Brandon Pritzl nailed all four of his 3-point shots, finishing with 14 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in a final all-around effort.