UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The No. 6-ranked Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team returned from its extended break with a matchup against GLIAC South Division leader Findlay on Thursday. Saginaw Valley was unable to take a lead late in the second half after reducing its deficit to 70-69 with 4:16 left to play and was handed its second loss of the season, 88-78.
Saginaw Valley got its first points of the games off an open jump shot from Garrett Hall at the 19:22 mark of the first half. The Cardinals quickly fell behind 7-2 moments later before roaring back to capture its first lead of the game from a three-pointer from Jake Daniels after the media timeout.
The Cardinals regained a three-point lead as Malik Garner collected his first points of the game, making the score 15-12 with 14:15 left in the first half. Garner pushed the Cardinal lead to five moments later with his three-pointer. The defense would settle in and keep the score 20-19 as both teams entered the media timeout.
Findlay exited the media timeout holding a brief lead on SVSU before Wade Gelhaus sank a pair of free throws to push the Cardinals ahead once again. The Oilers then jumped out to a 26-22 lead following a long make from three and making an open jump shot. Caleb Davis knocked down his only three-pointer of the contest, cutting the Oilers lead to 26-25 at the 9:00 mark. Both teams traded baskets and worked the score to 31-29 with 7:41 left in the first half.
Mike Wells tied the game at 31 with a pair of made free throws after the media stoppage. Richie Roberts stepped to the line on SVSU's next possession and split a pair of free throws for the 32-31 edge. Both teams went more than two minutes without a basket before Findlay made a layup to regain the lead once again. Saginaw Valley was unable to secure the lead for the remainder of the half and called timeout after a Findlay jump shot at the 3:50 mark.
The Oilers exited the timeout and extended its lead to 40-34 until a putback slam by Devin Dixon cut the edge to four. After exchanging a pair of baskets, Findlay closed the half on a 6-2 scoring to hold a 48-40 lead over Saginaw Valley.
Saginaw Valley held the Oilers in check on its first possession out of the half and countered with a three-pointer by Wells to cut the Findlay advantage to 48-43. The score was pushed to 52-45 following three straight baskets from both teams offensive sequences. A pair of Findlay free throws gave the Oilers a nine-point lead at the 17:25 mark. The Findlay lead held at nine points at the first media stoppage of the second half.
The Oilers lead would stay at nine points for the next seven minutes of play with the score sitting at 66-57 with 9:59 left to go in the game. It would stay at this score until Gelhaus completed a three-point play that made the game a two-possession difference. C.J. Turnage and Garrett Hall took over for SVSU after this, combining to score the team's next nine points and worked the score to 70-69 with 4:16 left to go. Turnage would make a layup following a Findlay three-pointer to keep SVSU at 76-71 entering the final media timeout of the game.
Hall knocked down a three-pointer at the 2:37 mark, making the score 76-74 in favor of Findlay. The Oilers would control the remainder of this game with a 12-4 scoring run in the final 2:37 of regulation and handed SVSU its second loss of the season by a final score of 88-78.
Inside the Boxscore
- C.J. Turnage recorded 23 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for his fifth double-double of the season. The senior forward was named the Meijer "Player of the Game".
- Wade Gelhaus finished the contest with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and added three rebounds with two assists.
- Garrett Hall chipped in with 15 points, five rebounds and two steals.
- Malik Garner led in bench scoring with seven points in 16 minutes of action.
- Saginaw Valley was outshot 52.5% to 46.0% from the field and were outrebounded 34-31.
Saginaw Valley State men's basketball completes its two-game road trip to Ohio with an afternoon matchup with Walsh University on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. The Cardinals won last year's regular season matchup 94-89 at O'Neill Arena but dropped its GLIAC Tournament Quarterfinal contest by a score of 91-85 at home. This is the only meeting of the season between the Cardinals and Cavaliers.
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