Dec. 17, 2012
Findlay, Ohio - Despite not leading in the first half, the #24 Findlay Oilers took control in the second half of Monday night's (Dec. 17) game against GVSU, eventually closing out the Lakers by a 64-60 final. The loss snaps Grand Valley State's seven-game winning streak and extends Findlay's home-court conference win streak to 80 games in a row.
Both teams are now 5-1 in conference play, as the Lakers entered Monday night as the only 5-0 team in the GLIAC. Grand Valley State is 8-2 on the season, while Findlay improves to 7-2 overall. The Oilers are ranked #24 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) poll.
GVSU easily outshot Findlay throughout the game, as the Lakers connected on 48.9 percent of its field goal attempts, while the Oilers shot just 34.8 percent. Findlay shot better from beyond the arc (making seven three-pointers to five for GVSU), but the real difference was at the charity stripe. The Oilers were 25-of-33 from the free throw line, while Grand Valley State was 9-of-11 on freebies.
Point guard Breland Hogan was the best player on the floor on Monday night, as the senior notched a game-high 23 points. Hogan was 8-of-14 from the field, made 3-of-5 triple tries, and knocked down 4-of-5 free throws. His 23 points are the most scored by any GVSU player in a game this season and the first Laker to reach the 20-point mark this year.
The Lakers jumped ahead to an 11-4 lead, which included consecutive buckets from sophomore Kristers Zeidaks, one of which was an alley-oop dunk on a pass from classmate Ryan Majerle. Moments later, Hogan buried a three-pointer and GVSU was on top by seven points. With 6:43 to play, Hogan converted an old-fashioned three-point play, scoring on a layup and making the free throw to put the Lakers ahead, 23-15. That was the biggest lead of the game for GVSU.
Findlay started chipping away at the deficit and used a four-point play to make the score 28-27 at halftime, with the Lakers on top by a point. In the opening 20 minutes, GVSU shot 50.0 percent from the field and the Oilers made just 29.2 percent of their attempts. The Lakers enjoyed a 16-6 edge in points in the paint, but committed nine first-half turnovers, while UF made eight miscues.
In the opening minute of the second half, Findlay scored on a Brad Piehl layup and a Greg Kahlig three-pointer to take its first lead of the game, 32-28. GVSU would re-gain a 37-34 advantage on a layup from Hogan at the 16:12 mark, but that would be the last lead for the Lakers. A 9-2 run put the Oilers back on top 43-39, which would be extended to a 55-46 cushion with 6:56 remaining.
GVSU would get back within striking distance on seven straight points from Hogan on a layup, a jumper, and a three-pointer. The trifecta made the score 58-55 with just 50 seconds left. After a Findlay bucket, Hogan made another three-pointer to keep the score at 60-58, but the Oilers would connect on four straight free throws to clinch the victory.
Findlay forced the Lakers into a season-high 19 turnovers, while the Oilers committed 17 miscues themselves. GVSU actually owned a 18-16 edge in points off turnovers. The Lakers controlled the paint to the tune of a 30-18 advantage.
Hogan was the team's only double-digit scorer, while Tyrone Lee added nine points and five rebounds, making 4-of-5 field goals. Sophomore Darius Norman supplied eight points, three rebounds, and a block in just six minutes on the floor. Zeidaks led the team with six rebounds, as Findlay outrebounded GVSU 31-30.
It was the team's final game in 2012, as the Lakers are back in action on Jan. 3, 2013. Grand Valley State will take on Walsh at 6:00 p.m. in Allendale in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.