ERIE, Pa. - It took three overtimes yesterday but Findlay's basketball team finally fought off Mercyhurst 106-99 for its 20th win of the season.
The Oilers (20-5, 13-4 GLIAC) were down four with just over one minute to play in regulation, but Charles Warren went on a 6-0 run to give Findlay a two point lead at 77-75 with 19 seconds remaining.
The Lakers, however, weren't ready to concede as Torry Mitchell (29 points) buried a tough fading away jumper that tied the game at 77-77 and sent the game into the first of three overtimes.
During the first extra session, Mercyhurst (12-15, 4-13) quickly jumped to a three point lead on a triple by Mitchell and held the lead till Frank Phillips tied the game once again on a three-point play with just over one minute to play. A lay-in by Jeff Daisley gave the Lakers a two-point lead with 44 seconds to play but Warren quickly countered with a lay-up of his own to tie the game at 86-86 and force a second overtime period.
During the second overtime, Warren once again had Findlay in position to win by scoring six of his team's eight points in the period. Mercyhurst would not go away, however, trading basket for basket with the Oilers and eventually forcing a third overtime period on a couple of clutch free throws by Mitchell.
With one minute remaining in the third overtime and the game tied at 99-99 you could sense that the two teams were going to be headed towards a fourth overtime. Findlay, however, connected on 7 of 8 free-throw attempts down the stretch to ice the game.
The Oilers finished with six players in double figures, led by Warren with 22, only one in the first half. , The Oilers connected on 37 of 47 free throws, while the Lakers shot 16-of-19 from the charity stripe. Brad Rethman and Dustin Pfeifer chipped in with 18 points apiece for Findlay. Marwan Gaines had 17 points and a team-high 13 rebounds. Tyson McLaughlin (15) and Frank Phillips (11) also reached double figures.
HEIDELBERG 85, WILMINGTON 78
WILMINGTON, Ohio - Lucas Messer scored 29 points to lead Heidelberg.
Nick Flipic added 19, Rudy Wolf 15 and Lorenzo Smith 12 for Heidelberg (7-18, 4-14 OAC). Greg Liggens and Adam Weber had 16 apiece for Wilmington (4-21, 2-16), and Deon Short and Dave Hudson had 13 each.
Wilmington led 39-35 at halftime but Heidelberg chipped away, forcing three ties, until Messer put Heidelberg ahead for good on a jumper with 9:45 to play.
In the next 31/2 minutes, Messer hit two more baskets and Flipic three, including a pair of 3-pointers, that put Heidelberg ahead 72-66.
CAPITAL 76, OHIO NORTHERN 67
ADA, Ohio - Tony Ruberg scored 16 points to lead five players in double figures as Capital clinched a tie for the Ohio Conference regular-season title.
The Polar Bears (13-12, 11-7 OAC) pulled to 66-65 on a basket by Aaron Fries with 5:47 to play, but the Crusaders (20-5, 15-3 OAC) went on an 11-2 run to end the game. The only points Ohio Northern scored after Fries' basket came on a dunk by Mike Haynes with 42 seconds to play.
Haynes led Ohio Northern with 18 points, Sam Mikolajewski had 17, Fries had 14 and Chad Bostelman had 10.
Tyler Schleich had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Capital. Jake Beck and Chuck Bihn each scored 12 points and Geron Tate scored 11.
HILLSDALE 87, WAYNE 65
HILLSDALE, Mich. - Jonathan Dues scored 19 points to lead Hillsdale.
Dues hit a 3-pointer at 11:19 of the first to put Hillsdale up 19-17 and the Chargers (16-11, 8-9 Great Lakes) never trailed after that. He had four 3-pointers in the game.
Hillsdale started the second half with an 8-0 run and surged to a 60-35 lead with 15:44 left.
Oscar Sanders led Wayne State (13-13, 9-8) with 17 points.
Hillsdale's Matt Mlynarchek scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
CALVIN 77, ADRIAN 63
ADRIAN - Steve Brooks, a graduate of Central Catholic, scored 26 points to pace the Bulldogs (12-13, 5-7), but Calvin surged away in the second half to win the MIAA game.
Kevin Broene led Calvin (15-10, 7-5) with 28 points and grabbed seven rebounds to pace his team to a 38-21 advantage on the boards.
Dan Walter and Adam Novak added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Adrian.
THOMAS MORE 70, BLUFFTON 63
BLUFFTON - The Beavers held a 31-22 lead at halftime, but Thomas More came rampaging back with a 48-32 second half.
Bluffton's Mike Leimeister and Chris Thompson of Thomas More shared scoring honors with 18 points apiece.
Bluffton (10-15) made only one of 16 3-point attempts, while Thomas More (7-17) connected on five of 18.