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Big First Half Leads Findlay Over Charger Men's Basketball Team

Sophomore Jonathan Wilkinson dribbles up the floor. Photo credit: Todd Lancaster
Sophomore Jonathan Wilkinson dribbles up the floor. Photo credit: Todd Lancaster

The Charger men's basketball team has put together some impressive second halves in recent weeks. But the problem for Hillsdale Thursday night at Findlay was the first half.

The University of Findlay stormed out to a 19-point first half lead and made it stand up in an 88-74 win over Hillsdale at the Croy Gymnasium in Ohio. The loss drops Hillsdale to 10-11 overall and 6-9 in the GLIAC.

As they typically do at home, the Oilers were on fire out of the gates, shooting 63 percent from the field in the first half, and hitting half of their 3-point shots (5-for-10) while quickly building a big lead. Findlay took a 19-6 lead when Hillsdale was forced to call a timeout early in the first half. The Chargers responded impressively, using a Ryan Badowski 3-pointer to come to within six points, 22-16.

But the Oilers finished the half on a 22-9 run, opening up the huge lead at halftime. Hillsdale shot 37 percent from the floor in the first half (11-for-30) and missed eight of the 10 3-point shots they attempted.

Hillsdale's second half adjustments seemed to work well at both ends of the floor. The Chargers drained nine 3-point field goals in the second half, and shot 58 percent from the field (19-for-33) in the game's final 20 minutes. However, Findlay didn't exactly cooperate with a potential Charger comeback, shooting 55 percent in the second half to finish at 59 percent for the game (35-for-59).

Hillsdale outscored Findlay 49-44 in the second half. The Chargers have outscored their opponents in the second half in 10 of their past 11 games.

Once again a bright spot for Hillsdale was the play of sophomore center Nick Czarnowski. He's emerged in the last couple weeks as a punishing offensive presence in the paint, and continued that in Thursday's game. He scored a career-high 17 points, and led the team with seven rebounds while going 8-for-12 from the floor.

Three other players cracked double digits in scoring, with junior Ryan Badowski's 15 leading the way. Sophomore guard Harrison Niego hit three 3-point baskets and finished with 11 points and two steals, while junior Stedman Lowry had 10 points and five rebounds. Freshman guard Dylan Lowry came off the bench to score eight while dishing out a career-high seven assists.

UP NEXT: Hillsdale hosts Ashland at 3 p.m. Saturday