Oiler Fall 84-66 in the Sweet 16
By: Mac Williams
The University of Findlay Oilers fell to Bellarmine University 84-66 on Tuesday in the sweet sixteen of the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament. The Oilers started the game hot from the three point line with Martyce Kimbrough and Elijah Kahlig hitting back to back threes to open the game. That hot shooting continued through the first media timeout as the Oilers led Bellarmine 21-17.
After that it was all Bellarmine as they went on a 16-3 run in the middle of the first half to lead by ten, 36-26. The Oilers would then answer by going on a 13-3 run to end the half and draw to within two points at 41-39.
After halftime it was all Bellarmine as their ball movement and three point shooting gave the Oilers fits defensively. Bellarmine outscored the Oilers 43-27 in the second half behind a game high 26 points from Rusty Troutman. As for the Oilers Taren Sullivan led the way with 22 points and 8 rebounds, Martyce Kimbrough also contributed 12 points for the Oilers. Throughout the game, the Oilers shot 39 percent from the field and 32 percent from the three-point line. Bellarmine on the other hand was a blistering 52 percent from the field and 44 percent from the three point line.
The Oilers ended their season with a 25-8 record and advanced to the sweet sixteen for the first time since 2009. Coach Charlie Ernst thinks the Oilers represented themselves well this season, given the season ending injuries to two starters.
“We fought through adversity all year long, and to be honest, not many people thought we would get this far,” said Ernst. “As for our seniors Ricardo Smith and Tyler Stern-Tucker, they are chips off the old block. They are both tremendous players and have worked their tails off for four years in our program. They are both certainly going to be missed by everyone.”
The Oilers now go into the offseason looking to rebound from this tough loss and are committed to playing great basketball next season.
“I think we will be back,” said Ernst.