UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY forward Alex White, left, releases a shot over Alderson Broaddus’ Malik Bocook in Tuesday’s Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament opener at Croy Gymnasium. UF won the game 88-62. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By ANDY WOLF
STAFF WRITER

It’s “ring week” for the No. 6-ranked University of Findlay men’s basketball season.

The Oilers took the first of three steps Tuesday in hopes of winning a conference tournament title by dominating Alderson Broaddus 88-62 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference opener at Croy Gymnasium.

“This is that time of year; it’s always been called ring week as told down from seniors and freshmen,” UF senior Alex White said.

“This is just the second-season mentality. First season is over. At this point your record doesn’t matter. Everybody knows that. You lose and you’re out; you win and you advance.”

Findlay (26-3) will host the remainder of tournament and meets No. 4 seed Cedarville (18-11) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday. The home team won both meetings this season.

No. 2 seed Walsh (22-7) and No. 3 seed Hillsdale (19-9) will meet in the other semifinal at 8 p.m. Friday.

White scored a game-high 27 points as the Battlers again did not have an answer for the 6-foot-7 post. He marked his fifth 20-point game in his last six outings.

The first time around against ABU, White earned his career high of 35 points and 15 rebounds in a 92-75 road win on Jan. 5.

“It’s that time of year where seniors know you don’t have many games left, especially at home,” White said. “It’s that point where (senior) Trey (Smith) and I are going to give our all no matter what.

“I don’t know if it had anything to do with the opponent but it kind of fit, I guess.”

On Tuesday, White extended his range and hit all five attempts from 3-point range — four in the second half.

“It’s gone the same way over my career: the more (3’s) I’ve shot the more confidence I get,” White said. “You see that first go down and the second gets easier.”

Anthony Masterlasco (13 points) and Aaron Overhiser (11) also scored in double figures for the Oilers.

White totaled 11 points in the first half — coincidentally the margin the Oilers took into halftime up 44-33.

He opened the second half by burying a left corner 3 on Smith’s assist under the baseline.

Smith followed up with another 3-pointer in transition before White scored on a right hook and another 3-pointer to answer one from ABU’s Coye Campbell.

The Battlers never came within 15 points the rest of the way.

“That’s about as good of a start to a second half as you can hope for as a coach,” UF coach Charlie Ernst said of the Oilers’ 13-3 opening run. “We had the ball to start the second half, we ran great offense and we got Alex freed up in the corner. He’s shooting the ball extremely well right now.”

While UF went a red-hot 9 of 12 from downtown in the first 35 minutes (10 of 18 total), ABU set the tone early with its jump shooting.

Five 3-pointers accounted for nearly all the Battlers’ points in their early 19-13 lead.

UF’s Chazz George quickly matched the last 3-pointer and scored again to trim the deficit to one.

That spurt started a 13-1 run in favor of Findlay for the only lead change of the game.

“Our guys kind of got their feet wet, both teams kind of felt each other out,” Ernst said. “We played a little tentative on defense to start. Give (ABU) credit.

“Then we did a better job of defending their ball screens as the first half wore on. Our bench really gave us a nice lift in the first half.”

Tommy Schmock added seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Oilers. George had a bench-high nine points.

David Shriver hit three 3-pointers and led three ABU scorers in double figures at 12 points.

Collectively, the Battlers went 9 of 27 from 3-point range.

No UF starter topped 30 minutes on Tuesday, something Ernst was happy to not have to “overextend his guys” on.

“I realize we have a couple days rest before Friday, however the days start to add up,” Ernst said. “Plus we’re talking about March.”

AlDERSON BROADDUS (13-16)

Golphin 0-6 0-1 0, Bocook 2-7 2-2 7, Davis 3-8 3-4 9, Shriver 4-9 1-1 12, Walker 4-5 0-0 10, Campbell 4-7 1-1 11, Polanco 0-1 0-0 0, Horton 1-3 4-6 7, Williams 1-2 0-0 2, Pennie 0-1 0-0 0, Grayson 1-2 2-3 4, Summers 0-1 0-0 0, James 0-2 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20-54 13-18 62.

NO. 6 FINDLAY (26-3)

Masterlasco 6-8 0-0 13, Overhiser 3-8 5-8 11, Whtie 10-15 2-3 27, Smith 1-2 4-4 7, Schmock 3-5 1-2 7, George 3-7 2-3 9, Wall 0-1 0-0 0, E. Linder 2-6 0-1 5, Stover 3-7 0-0 6, N. Ashley 0-1 0-0 0, C. Linder -2 0-0 3. TOTALS: 32-62 14-21 88.

3-Point GOALS: Alderson Broaddus 9-27 (Golphin 0-2, Bocook 1-4, Davis 0-1, Shriver 3-8, Walker 2-3, Campbell 2-2, Polanco 0-1, Horton 1-2, Williams 0-1, Pennie 0-1, Summers 0-1, James 0-1); Findlay 10-18 (Masterlasco 1-1, Overhiser 0-1, White 5-5, Smith 1-2, George 1-2, E. Linder 0-1, Stover 0-1, Ashley 0-1, C. Linder 1-2).

rebounds: Alderson Broaddus 31 (Bocook 6, Grayson 6); Findlay 39 (Schmock 7).

ASSISTS: Alderson Broaddus 8 (Davis 3); Findlay 17 (Schmock 7).

STEALS: Alderson Broaddus 8 (Horton 3); Findlay 7 (George & E. Linder 2).

BLOCKS: Alderson Broaddus 3; Findlay 1 (White).

TURNOVERS: Alderson Broaddus 17; Findlay 11.

TOTAL FOULS: Alderson Broaddus 13; Findlay 17

FOULED OUT: None.

HALFTIME: Findlay, 44-33.

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