(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) - The University of Findlay (20-4, 16-4) erased a nine-point deficit in the final 3:26 to stun No. 22 Walsh (19-4, 15-4) 82-81 in a GLIAC South Division game. The win stops Walsh's eight-game win streak, and moves Findlay back into first place in the South Division. Findlay has two remaining GLIAC games, while the Cavs have three.
In a first half that featured five ties, and eight lead changes, Walsh led 38-37 at the break.
The second half went back and forth until Walsh took a 58-50 lead with 11:34 to play. Findlay would respond and run off seven straight points, to trail 58-57 with 8:34 left.
Walsh would answer with a 10-2 run to lead 68-59 with 6:00 to play.
The Cavs looked in control as they led by nine points, at 76-67, with 3:26 to play, but then two things began to happen. Walsh began to fail from the foul line, and Findlay All-American Greg Kahlig put the Oilers on his back.
In the final 2:37 the Cavs would miss four free throws, which included two one and ones. The Cavs still led 79-72 as Chall Montgomery (6-4, So., Cleveland, OH/Central Catholic/U.S. Naval Academy) would net an old-fashioned three-point play with 1:19 left.
Findlay's Alphonso Baity then hit two free throws to cut the lead to 79-74 with 1:15 to play. After Jeff Copeland (6-5, Jr., Toledo, OH/St. John's Jesuit) missed the front end of a one-and-one, Kahlig scored on a three-point play with 53 seconds left to pull the Oilers to within two at 79-77.
Brad DuPont (6-0, Sr., Massillon, OH/Jackson/Wheeling Jesuit) then drove to the basket and gave Walsh a four-point lead at 81-77 with 36 seconds left. Kahlig then hit the shot of the night, a 40-foot three to pull Findlay to within one-point at 81-80 with 26 seconds left.
Findlay then fouled Hrvoje Vucic (7-1, Sr., Split, Croatia/Faust Vrancic/Valparaiso) with 23 seconds to play. Vucic stepped to line and missed, to give the Oilers the opportunity they wanted. And who else but Kahlig delivered on the left side of the lane with 2.3 to play.
Walsh advanced the ball to the foul line and called time with 1.99 to play. Montgomery would then heave a three that fell short, and the Oilers escaped with the 82-81 win.
The loss denied the Cavs their first 20-win season in the NCAA, a first round GLIAC home playoff game, and kept them from taking control of the GLIAC South.
Copeland led Walsh with 17 points, as he continued his hot shooting from the floor, making 7-11. Vucic and Montgomery each added 16 points, and DuPont had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. Vucic led all rebounders with nine.
Kahlig burned the Cavs for 42 points on 18-27 from the floor. Baity added 14 points.
Walsh shot 55% from the field, and committed only four turnovers in a superb floor game. They also shot 46% from three-point on 10-22.
Walsh looks to get back on track at Hillsdale College on Saturday at 3 pm. The game will be broadcast live on WNPQ FM, 95.9