University of Findlay’s Amber Schweiger (2) lays in a basket over Malone’s Robin Campbell during Thursday’s game at Niekamp Arena. (Photo by Matthias Leguire)

By ANDY WOLF

STAFF WRITER

Amber Schweiger had a good feeling when her half-court heave swished in at the third-quarter buzzer.

It tied the game at 67-all and the University of Findlay women’s basketball team got over the hump to beat Malone 85-79 in Great Midwest Athletic Conference play on Thursday at Niekamp Arena.

“It just got everybody excited,” Schweiger said. “A half-court at any time in the game is pretty awesome.

“I felt it just gave us momentum and got everybody up. We need to learn a half-court shot isn’t what fires the team up but having this momentum going into Walsh (1 p.m. Saturday), coming off a bad, bad loss — I’m excited.”

The Oilers, who trailed by as many as 15 points in the first quarter, improved to 11-9 overall, 7-3 in the GMAC.

The Pioneers dropped to 13-6, 7-2.

Schweiger finished with a career-high 20 points to go with her eight assists — matching a personal best.

Sydney Kin (Carey) added 17 points, six rebounds and two blocks while Bridget Landin scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter.

Landin scored on back-to-back possessions midway through the fourth to push UF ahead 79-75 — its first lead since 4-2 in the first quarter.

Malone, which made 17 of 44 attempts from 3, hit only 1 of 8 attempts from outside the rest of the way as the Oilers kept tighter guard on the arc.

“It came from after our last loss of our coach (Jim Wiedie) telling us we don’t look like we want to win,” Schweiger said of the defensive effort. “We came together as a team. We want to be a team, a good team, a great team.”

Holly Groff’s game-high 37 points became an afterthought for the Pioneers. She canned 11 treys in 20 attempts.

The 5-foot-4 junior guard entered Thursday’s game as the GMAC’s rare triple crown leader in makes (56), attempts (127) and percentage (44.1) from downtown.

She also made nine 3-pointers in Saturday’s win at Hillsdale.

“She’s outstanding; she’s a terrific player,” Wiedie said of Groff.

Groff sank seven of Malone’s 10 first-half 3s for 21 points — nearly half of her team’s scoring in a 45-38 halftime edge.

The Oilers fell behind by as much as 29-14 late in the first quarter. Lilly Simon’s step-back 3-pointer at the buzzer cut it to 29-17.

Findlay kept chipping away in the third quarter and closed on an 18-5 run — the last bucket on Schweiger’s heave.

“When I shot it I thought ‘Wow, that might go in,'” Schweiger said. “…It was exciting because my family is here so that was for them.”

Findlay was without two starting guards in senior Lauren Ruth (death in family) and Madison Stolly (broken ankle).

Wiedie said Stolly broke it in practice on Jan. 20. The injury won’t require surgery as he hopes she can be back by conference tournament time.

“For a break, it’s in a good spot,” Wiedie said. “She starts rehab next week.”

MALONE (13-6, 7-2 GMAC)

Doyle 3-8 0-0 8, Groff 13-22 0-0 37, Campbell 5-10 1-2 12, Hutchison 3-11 0-0 7, Wentling 2-10 1-2 6, Hunter 0-2 0-0 0, Abdulla 1-2 0-0 2, Kallas 3-5 0-0 7, Poole 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS: 30-71 2-4 — 79.

FINDLAY (11-9, 7-3 GMAC)

Landin 6-10 1-2 13, Kin 6-11 4-4 17, Bellman 4-7 0-0 11, Schweiger 5-9 9-13 20, Utterback 2-5 0-0 4, Harris 2-3 0-0 5, Flynn 1-1 0-0 2, Cooke 1-3 0-0 3, Simon 3-3 0-0 8, Sammarone 1-1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 31-53 14-19 — 85.

3-Point GOALS: Malone 17-44 (Doyle 2-6, Groff 11-20, Campbell 1-5, Hutchison 1-5, Wentling 1-4, Hunter 0-1, Kallas 1-2, Pool 0-1); Findlay 9-17 (Landin 0-2, Kin 1-1, Bellman 3-3, Schweiger 1-3, Utterback 0-2, Harris 1-1, Cooke 1-3, Simon 2-2).

rebounds: Malone 33 (Doyle & Hunter 7); Findlay 32 (Bellman 9).

ASSISTS: Malone 23 (Hutchison 7); Findlay 20 (Schweiger 8).

STEALS: Malone 6; Findlay 7.

BLOCKS: Malone 0; Findlay 4 (Kin 2).

TURNOVERS: Malone 13, Findlay 15.

TOTAL FOULS: Malone 20, Findlay 16.

FOULED OUT: None.

HALFTIME: Malone, 45-38.

Wolf, 419-427-8496

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