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TU men v. Findlay
February 27, 2010 - Zach Baker
For the second year in a row, TU and Findlay meet in the regular season finale. There's no doubt in my mind that Tiffin is a much better team than it was at this time last year. But that improvement likely won't be enough to keep the game close.
Findlay isn't as good as a year ago, but it is still the class of the conference.
A little more than five minutes in, and Findlay leads, 13-5. Brian Scott has accounted for all the Dragons points. The Oilers have already made three 3-pointers.
DeAngelo Jordan buries a 3, and Findlay's lead is cut to 19-14. TU is five points down with 9:18 left in the half. I think it was down 20 by this point when the teams played in January.
I've covered college games for six years professionally, and I can honestly say no score has surprised me more than this one: Findlay 23, Tiffin 22, 4:33 left in the first half. No one can say what this means, but Travis Spahr has eight points. Keenan Barlow's hookshot gives TU the LEAD with 3:42 left. These are the defending national champions here, and TU hans hung with them through most of this half.
With two minutes left in the half, TU leads, 25-23. Findlay has gone ice cold from the floor, to the point that Tyler Sparks just blew an open layup. Scott's right corner 3, and TU leads 28-23 with 1:40 left.
Brandon Harris slams it home, and it's 32-27 with 10 seconds to go in the half. Mohammed Fall fouls Marcus Parker with four seconds left. Parker misses the front end of a 1-and-1. We go to half, Tiffin leads, 32-27. Unbelievable.
Brian Scott has 10, Spahr has 8. I doubt Findlay will shoot 9 of 27 in the second half. If you're a Dragons fan, enjoy this. The second half might be quite different.
With 17:25 left, Dragons lead, 35-34. The lead was as big as six moments ago.
With 14:28 left, it's Tiffin leading, 42-38. Nathan Hyde is the only Oiler having a good day offensively. Tiffin had its lead up to seven moments ago, but Hyde buried a deep 3. He has 20.
DeAngelo Jordan buries a jumper, TU leads 51-43 with 10:39 left. Dragons are playing out of their minds, and Findlay looks like its starting to feel the pressure.
Tiffin has a 12-point lead with 8:01 left. Stunning, no matter what happens. Spahr has 12, Jordan has 13, Scott has 18.
The lead got as big as 14. Now it's TU 61-52 with 5:52 left. Brandon Harris, who was playing the game of his life, fouled out.
With 4:58 left, Dragons lead by 9. Two fouls before the bonus, but I'm not sure how confident TU will be on 1-and-1s in an atmosphere like this.
Findlay has scored nine straight points to tie the game. The Dragons have missed their last three free throws. Still, TU has the ball with 2:08 left.
With 42.3 seconds left, TU leads, 64-63. Oilers have the ball. Hyde is fouled and gets two free throws, makes em both, 37 seconds left. TU turns the ball over.
Hyde was fouled and missed his first. 24 seconds left. Hyde's second makes. Parker's drive is swatted. We're going to overtime. Tiffin is depleted, so I'm not sure if it can pull this off.
Still tied, 3:23 left. Game is tied at 66. Jason Wehri is at the line, misses his first., and second. Still tied.
Scott hits a jumper, then Hammonds steals. TU ball, 2:39 left, 68-66, TU.
Parker's layup ties it. TU ball, 1:39 left.
Tiffin loses, 72-71. Austin Smith had a look at a game-winning 3, but it bounced off.