Storm's Upset Bid Falls Just Short Against #2 Moccasins

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Lake Erie Storm fell just short in its upset bid against host No. 2 Florida Southern on Monday (Dec. 28) night, 88-86, in the Florida Southern Holiday Inn South/Ledger Classic in Lakeland, Fla.
The Storm (4-11), which trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, led by three with 1:14 to play after a Darnell Campbell (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) three-pointer.
After Florida Southern's John Thompson split a pair of free-throws, the teams each missed a jumper, but Damon Ellison went to the line for the Moccasins after grabbing an offensive board with seven seconds left. Down by two, Ellison knocked down both shots.
After a timeout, though, the Thompson stole the Storm's inbounds pass and was immediately fouled by Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood). Thompson converted both free throws with 5.7 seconds to play and Lake Erie was unable to get off a final shot.
The Storm kept the game close all night against the Moccasins (10-0), who are ranked second in Division II.
Lake Erie had three players with at least 20 points, including Campbell, who had 16 of his 20 in the second half as the Storm built its comeback.
Lake Erie trailed by three at half after leading by as many as 11 in the first half. The Storm led 33-22 with 7:27 left in the first half after a three-pointer by guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep), but the Moccasins scored the next 13 points as they began to build their lead going into the break.
The Moccasins led by a dozen, 63-51, with 13 minutes left, but the Storm fought back into the game to tie it at 80 with just under three minutes left after Bradshaw connected on three free throws.
The score was tied nine times with five lead changes, despite both teams holding double-digit leads at different points in the game.
Bradshaw and Kidd paced the Storm with 21 points apiece, with Bradshaw handing out a career-high eight assists. Kidd's 21 points were also a career-high. Campbell had his best all-around game of the season, scoring at least 20 points for the second straight game, while adding seven rebounds and a season-high six assists.
Freshman guard Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) added 10 points on 5-for-5 shooting with three assists and three steals.
The Moccasins held a huge advantage at the free-throw line, hitting 23-of-30 from the line, while the Storm was just 8-for-14.
For just the second time this season, Lake Erie shot at least 50 percent from the field, hitting 52 percent (34-for-65), including a 10-for-21 mark from three-point range. Kidd and Bradshaw had four treys apiece.
Rion Rayfield led six Moccasin players in double-figures with 21 points.
The Storm will return to the floor Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in the third-place game of the Holiday Inn Southern/Ledger Classic. Lake Erie will play the University of Missouri-St. Louis Tritons, which lost to St. Joseph's College in Monday's Classic opener.