TIFFIN, Ohio - Tiffin men's basketball will face the two teams tied atop the Great Midwest Athletic Conference standings this week, traveling to Hillsdale on Thursday and Findlay on Saturday.
Tiffin and Hillsdale have faced off 29 times in program histories, with the Chargers holding a 23-6 advantage in the all-time series including four-straight wins. The Dragons and Chargers played a tightly contested matchup earlier this year in the beginning of December, as Tiffin overcame a ten-point halftime deficit to trail by just one with 3:17 remiaining. However, Hillsdale was able to hold the lead and make free throws down the stretch to come away with a 78-71 win. Hillsdale had five players in double figures led by Dylan Lowry's 17, while Shane Waldon and Joshua Williams each had 19 points for Tiffin.
Separated by just over 26 miles, Tiffin and Findlay have played a total of 53 times with the Oilers enjoying a 45-8 advantage in the series. Findlay has won 10 in a row, with the Dragons' last victory coming in January 2013. TU very nearly halted that streak in their first conference game this year at the end of November, as the Dragons led by as many as 22 in the first-half and by nine at the break, but a 15-2 Oiler run midway through the second-half turned the tables back in Findlay's favor as they escaped with an 82-75 victory. Three Dragons had double-doubles in the loss in Shane Waldon (18 pts, 10 reb), Austin Adams (18 pts, 10 reb), and Terrell Mabins (13 pts, 10 ast), but Findlay's Alex White was the game's leading scorer with 21 points along with 10 boards for a double-double as well.
Tiffin split a pair of home games for the second-straight week last weekend, defeating Ohio Valley before falling to Ohio Dominican. With the top eight teams in the conference reaching the G-MAC tournament, the Dragons currently sit in 10th in the conference standings, trailing current 8-seed Alderson Broaddus by 2.5 games with eight games remaining on their conference slate.
The Dragons overwhelmed Ohio Valley on Thursday, leading by 13 at the break en route to a 92-69 win. Tiffin outrebounded OVU 43-32, outassisted 21-7, and outshot 48.0% to 23.5% from deep in the victory. Hunter Schmalz provided a spark off the bench for TU with 16 points on four triples, while Shane Waldon enjoyed another double-double with 16 points and 10 boards.
Tiffin trailed Ohio Dominican by just four at halftime but the Panthers were able to pull away and take an 83-69 win on Saturday. Joshua Williams tallied 19 points for Tiffin in the loss, while a pair of Panthers scored 20 points.
Scouting the Chargers:
Hillsdale comes into Thursday's matchup at 14-5 overall and 10-2 in the G-MAC. The Chargers are riding a six-game winning streak, including sweeping their southern opponents last weekend as they overcame Kentucky Wesleyan 57-47 on Thursday and Trevecca Nazarene 79-56 on Saturday. Hillsdale takes care of the ball and plays great defense, leading the G-MAC (16th nationally) with a 4.58 turnover margin, just 8.6 turnovers per game (third nationally), and allowing just 63.3 points per game (fifth nationally). The Chargers are very balanced offensively with four players averaging between 10 and 14 points, led by Dylan Lowry's 13.5 per game.
Scouting the Oilers:
Ranked as high as ninth in Division II this season, No. 14 Findlay enters the weekend having won seven of their last eight contests and have a 16-3 overall record and 10-2 G-MAC record. The Oilers also swept Trevecca Nazarene and Kentucky Wesleyan last weekend by scores of 87-51 and 68-49, respectively. Findlay has a high-powered offense, ranking second in the G-MAC with 84.6 points per game and leading with a scoring margin of 13.3 (17th nationally). They also shoot just under 50% from the field (1st in G-MAC, 15th nationally) and lead the conference with 18.32 assists per outing (ninth nationally). Alex White leads the Oilers with 17.4 points per game (3rd in G-MAC), 9.1 rebounds per game (5th in G-MAC, 35th nationally), and 2.1 blocks per game (2nd in G-MAC, 17th nationally), while Tommy Schmock leads the conference with an assist-turnover ratio of 3.34 (eighth nationally), is second with 6.2 assists per game (15th nationally), and is ninth with 1.5 steals per contest. The Oilers will host current G-MAC third-place team Cedarville for a top-3 showdown on Thursday before welcoming Tiffin on Saturday.
Senior big man Shane Waldon is hovering around the top of the Tiffin men's basketball single-season field goal percentage record, as his current mark of 60.2% is fifth, with the record being 66.4% set by Rich Torrence during the 1992-93 season. Despite playing just three seasons in a Dragon uniform, Austin Adams is 31 rebounds away from entering the TU top-10 in career rebounding. Adams is also on track to finish near the top of the Tiffin career field goal percentage ranks, as the senior currently ranks seventh with a career mark of 54.9% from the field. Joshua Williams has been impressive at getting to the free throw line in his first season with the Dragons, as he is 18 makes and 13 attempts from entering the single-season top-10 lists at TU.
|Team||Points Per Game||84.9||1st||33rd|
|Team||Field Goal %||47.1||3rd|
|Team||Off. Reb. Per Game||10.8||4th|
|Team||Assists Per Game||16.05||T-3rd||45th|
|Team||Steals Per Game||10.4||1st||7th|
|Joshua Williams||Points Per Game||18.2||4th|
|Shane Waldon||Points Per Game||16.2||8th|
|Waldon||Rebounds Per Game||7.4||10th|
|Waldon||Field Goal %||60.2||1st||18th|
|Waldon||Blocks Per Game||1.3||T-6th|
|Austin Adams||Field Goal %||53.4||4th|
|Terrell Mabins||Assists Per Game||5.1||4th|
|Mabins||Steals Per Game||1.6||8th|
|Thomas Hickman||Steals Per Game||1.7||T-5th|