Richards erupts for 30, but Dragons foiled by Findlay
FINDLAY — It’s a win.
However, University of Findlay women’s basketball coach Jim Wiedie is still looking to see his team finish off teams better.
The Oilers built a 13-point lead late in the third quarter, yet had to fend off Tiffin University for a 76-66 victory in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play on Saturday at Niekamp Arena.
Findlay improved to 14-11 overall, 10-5 in the GMAC. In their last three wins, the Oilers held double-digit second-half leads only to see them trimmed to one possession deep into the fourth quarter.
“You get teams down double figures, 11, 12, 14 points and you let them come right back,” Wiedie said. “We don’t defend, come down, we turn the ball over. We had 23 turnovers and we gave up 19 offensive rebounds — it’s killing us.
“It’s gratifying that we made some plays, especially the last two minutes but we should never be in that situation. … Big win for us. We needed that, needed to take care of business.”
The Oilers shot 51 percent from the floor (25 of 49) and took advantage of the free throw line by sinking 24 of 27 attempts.
UF sophomore center Sydney Kin, a Carey graduate, scored 22 points for her eighth 20-point game in her last 13 outings. She went 10 of 16 from the floor while tallying eight rebounds and two blocks.
Bridget Landin (five assists) notched her second-straight double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds with five assists for the Oilers.
For Tiffin (11-15, 6-10), Savanah Richards caught fire early and made seven 3-pointers en route to a career-high 30-points. The true freshman and Liberty-Benton grad also put in five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Lilly Simon’s free throws gave UF its peak lead at 52-39 with 3:19 remaining in the third quarter.
But the Oilers didn’t score the rest of the frame and, after two 3s by Richards, led only 52-45 entering the fourth.
Brooke Wesner kept Tiffin’s momentum going by draining back-to-back triples early on.
After a Kin bucket, Wesner scored again and Nichols hit a jumper to pull Tiffin within 56-55 midway through.
That was as close as the Dragons got, however.
Findlay kicked its offense back into gear. Amber Schweiger hit a jumper, Kin scored in the paint and Lauren Ruth scored as well for a 6-0 run.
Ruth also hit a dagger of a 3-pointer near the one-minute mark to double UF’s lead at 67-61, enough of a cushion to keep Tiffin at bay.
“We wanted this one but props to Findlay,” Tiffin coach Jessie Ivey said. “They hit big shots when they needed to.”
Richards, averaging 18.4 points in her last five games, turned into Tiffin’s big shot maker.
She hit three 3s in the first quarter and two more in each of the second and third frames.
Richards entered with only 13 made 3-balls and only three games with multiple makes.
“She’s just a hard-nosed kid; she’s in the gym getting shots up,” Ivey said of Richards. “She’s been doing it all year — just finally now it’s starting to show production for her.”