By BRIAN LESTER
Karli Beasley prides herself on playing hard and playing with energy.
She did both on Saturday afternoon against Lake Erie College in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at Croy Gymnasium.
Beasley, aggressive throughout the day, was particularly key in the first half, scoring seven points and grabbing a couple of rebounds. Her effort helped the Oilers earn a 73-60 win over the Storm.
“I’m the energy player. That is a big part of my game,” Beasley said. “Our biggest problem has been keeping our energy up this year, and I made the decision that I was going to do what I could to keep it up.”
Beasley attacked the basket several times, losing her headband on one drive to the basket, and hit a 3-pointer as well that gave the Oilers a 3-0 lead right out of the gate. Her two free throws gave UF a 22-19 lead late in the half.
The senior guard finished with seven points, five rebounds and two assists as she helped the Oilers (8-8, 5-7 GLIAC) bounce back from Thursday’s loss to defending NCAA Division II national champion Ashland.
“I was trying to do the little things,” Beasley said. “We were having trouble with some ball screens, so I was going inside trying to draw fouls and give our team a boost.”
The trouble for the Oilers was they were unable to stifle the 3-point attack of the Storm in the opening half.
Four straight treys, including one by Jackie Murray, gave the Storm (7-11, 2-10) a 31-28 lead with 2:49 remaining in the half. Murray, who made four 3-pointers and scored 15 points, was the focal point of the UF defense.
The Storm made seven 3-pointers in the opening half, with Murray connecting three times, and the Storm led 36-35 at halftime.
“The emphasis in the first half was on No. 24 (Murray),” UF head coach Jim Wiedie said. “Unfortunately, she got some clean looks. But some other kids who don’t normally make a lot of threes hit some shots, too.”
Effort was an issue as well.
“The thing that I was disappointed with in the first half was that we didn’t play hard,” Wiedie said. “We didn’t have a lot of energy, I thought we were soft in the press and I thought we were soft in the zone.”
It was a different story in the second half as the Oilers seemed energized.
Karli Bonar tied the score at 36-36 with a free throw, and layups by Ciara Geiger and Margaret Wuebker extended the UF lead to 40-36. Nikki Gunning’s jumper pushed the advantage to 42-36 as the Oilers opened the second half on a 7-0 run.
Gunning’s trey gave the Oilers a 45-38 lead with 14:40 to go and the Oilers never looked back. Their lead reached 18 with less than 10 minutes to play when Geiger drove inside and scored on a layup for a 62-44 lead.
Wuebker played a big part in the second-half surge, hitting close-range jumpers and making layups. She finished with 17 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds for a double-double. Wuebker blocked three shots as well.
Former Riverdale standout Lacey Kessler scored 13 points, hitting two 3-pointers along the way, and grabbed six rebounds. Gunning nailed two treys and finished with 12 points. The Oilers shot 43.6 percent (24 of 55) from the field.
“In the second half, I thought we were much more active,” Wiedie said. “We had better ball pressure and our rotations were better. We had a little lull at the end, but when we play with energy and effort, we can do a lot of good things.”
The Storm shot only 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the field overall and missed on 12 of its 13 attempts from the long range in the second half. Chrissy Delaney was the only other player in double figures for LEC as she scored 13 points.
“We like to take plays off at times, but that was something we talked about halftime. We weren’t going to take plays off,” Beasley said. “It’s time for a change, time for a turning point. We played good defense today.”
Despite an up-and-down year, the Oilers are still alive in the hunt for a South Division title, sitting just three games back in the standings.
UF can take another step forward Thursday when it hosts Walsh (6-11, 2-9) in a 6 p.m. game at Croy Gymnasium.
“We really needed this win,” Beasley said. “We had to show that the work we are putting in is paying off. We’re hanging in there and hopefully we can build on this win.”
Lake ERIE (7-11, 2-10 GLIAC)
Irish 4-12 0-1 8, Skelton 2-5 0-0 4, Jones 0-3 0-0 0, Brumbaugh 0-2 0-0 0, Murray 5-18 1-1 15, Delaney 4-8 4-5 13, Narducci 2-5 0-0 5, Shagovac 2-5 2-2 7, Jindra 0-0 0-2 0, Carpenter 1-3 4-6 15. TOTALS: 20-61 11-17–60.
FINDLAY (8-8, 5-7 GLIAC)
Wuebker 7-8 3-6 17, Beasley 2-8 2-2 7, Andrews 1-1 0-0 2, Geiger 3-8 0-1 6, Bonar 1-10 3-4 5, Klein 0-0 0-0 0, Klausing 2-3 4-4 8, Gunning 4-8 2-2 12, Gunning 4-8 2-2 12, Kessler 3-7 5-8 13, Grevenkamp 1-1 0-0 3, Lewis 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 24-55 19-27–73.
HALFTIME: Lake Erie, 36-35.
3-Point GOALS: Lake Erie 9-26 (Irish 0-1, Jones 0-1, Brumbaugh 0-1, Delaney 1-1, Narducci 2-4, Shagovac 1-1, Carpenter 1-2); Findlay 6-23 (Beasley 1-4, Geiger 0-4, Bonar 0-7, Klausing 2-4, Gunning 2-3, Gevenkamp 1-1).
rebounds: Findlay 46 (Wuebker 11, Geiger & Bonar 8); Lake Erie 34 (Irish 6).
ASSISTS: Findlay 15 (Klausing 4); Lake Erie 14 (Delaney & Narducci 4).
STEALS: Lake Erie 13 (Carpenter & Irish 3); Findlay 11.
BLOCKS: Findlay 6 (Wuebker 3); Lake Erie 4.
TURNOVERS: Findlay 22, Lake Erie 20.
TOTAL FOULS: Findlay 23, Lake Erie 22.
FOULED OUT: Findlay, Beasley.
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