The Charger men's basketball team struggled to get shots to fall down the stretch, as it suffered its first home loss of the season Saturday afternoon.
The University of Findlay, ranked 16th in the nation, ended this game on a 17-3 run, pulling away for a 59-50 victory over Hillsdale. The loss drops the Chargers to 13-4 overall and 7-3 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Two of the G-MAC's toughest defensive teams matched up with one another in a game where defense dominated at both ends. Neither team had a period in the game where they made a flurry of shots, until the Oilers found rhythm and confidence in the game's final few minutes.
A free throw by senior Ryan Badowski, as part of an and-one play, gave the Chargers a 47-42 lead with 7:33 to go. But from that point the Findlay defense played hard and physical against Hillsdale, and held the Chargers to three points and no made field goals over those last 7 minutes and 33 seconds.
The Oilers got good ball movement in their half court sets and made an array of layups and jumpers to pull away as the game wound down.
Hillsdale's cold snap down the stretch pushed the team's shooting percentage down to 40 for the game. The Chargers were 9-for-24 from the field in the second half. Findlay, who shot just 38 percent in the first half, warmed up to 42 for the game by shooting 46 percent in the second half. Rebounding was virtually even (Hillsdale held a 35-34 edge) but the Oilers helped themselves by turning the ball over just 7 times compared to 16 for the Chargers.
Findlay held a 16-5 edge in points off turnovers, an 11-point advantage in a game that ended with a nine-point spread.
Senior Stedman Lowry got off to a nice start for the Chargers, and he led the team with 15 points. Junior Nick Czarnowski had 13 on 6-for-11 shooting from the field, 11 of those points coming early in the second half. Senior Ryan Badowski added 10 to go along with 7 rebounds. Lowry's 8 boards led the team.