PREVIEW: Men's Basketball Closes Its Season This Weekend (LIVE STATS/VIDEO)

PREVIEW: Men's Basketball Closes Its Season This Weekend (LIVE STATS/VIDEO)

Thursday February 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Lake Erie College Storm (9-15, 4-13 GLIAC) at Tiffin University Dragons (14-13, 6-11 GLIAC)
Saturday February 25 at 3:00 p.m.
Lake Erie College Storm vs. Ashland University Eagles (15-10, 10-8 GLIAC)

Where (THURSDAY): Gillmor Center – Tiffin, Ohio
Where (SATURDAY): Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center – Painesville, Ohio
Live Stats (THURSDAY): http://livestats.prestosports.com/tiffin
Live Stats (SATURDAY): http://livestats.prestosports.com/lakeerie
Game Notes: Click Here
Video Broadcast (SATURDAY): Click Here  
Website: www.LakeErieStorm.com

LAKE ERIE CLOSES ITS SEASON THIS WEEKEND: The Lake Erie College men's basketball team (9-15, 4-13 GLIAC) closes its 2011-12 season this weekend at it travels to Tiffin University Thursday (Feb. 23) and hosts Ashland University Saturday (Feb. 25). The Storm is coming off a 61-58 loss to Michigan Tech University Saturday. 

SENIOR SENDOFF: Saturday's game will be senior day as Lake Erie honors its two senior - guard Brandon Smith and forward Matt Grendel.  Grendel has been a four-year member of the Storm while Smith has been at Lake Erie the past three seasons - playing the last two after transferring from Cuyahoga Community College. 

SERIES NOTES: Lake Erie leads the overall series with Tiffin, 2-1, after taking a pair of victories over the Dragons last season by a combined three points.  This season, Tiffin defeated the Storm, 71-66, in Painesville Jan. 14.  Ashland has taken all three overall meetings with Lake Erie, including a 73-54 win this season on Dec. 11 (see pg. 3 for more details). 

OPPOSITION POSITION: Tiffin (14-13, 6-11 GLIAC) is currently fifth in the GLIAC South standings with impressive wins over Findlay and Hillsdale during its current four-game winning streak.  The Dragons have the second and fourth leading scorers in the GLIAC with guards Karl Findlay (19.9 ppg.) and Joe Graessle (18.2 ppg).  Ashland (15-10, 10-8 GLIAC) is fighting for GLIAC playoff position, entering the weekend tied for seventh overall (fourth GLIAC south) in the conference.  The Eagles are led by forward Evan Yates who tops the GLIAC in scoring (20.7 ppg.) and rebounding (11.3 rpg.).

AUSTIN ALL-IN: Sophomore Rich Austin has made a huge leap after a solid freshman season. Austin is averaging 12.0 ppg. and 6.1 rpg., leading the team in both categories. He has reached double figure scoring in 15-of-24 games this season and recorded his second double-double Feb. 4 vs. ODU with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Over the last five games he is averaging 14.8 ppg. and 7.2 rpg. The Cleveland St. Ignatius grad averaged 6.0 ppg. as a freshman.

THOMAS' TERRIFIC TWOS: Sophomore Riley Thomas has backed up a solid freshman campaign as the team's second leading scorer at 10.0 ppg.  He currently has 464 points and could be well on his way to becoming Lake Erie's next 1,000 point scorer. 

STORM SWIPING IT: This season, the Storm has averaged 8.4 steals per game, which is second in the GLIAC.  Sophomore guards Riley Thomas and Nate lead Lake Erie with 30 steals as eight players have at least 16 swipes.

HOME COOKING FOR DUDLEY: Sixth man Jamil Dudley has fed off the home crowd here at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center and it has really showed in the Storm's last three home games as he has been their leading scorer with 24 points in the two victories over that time.  Dudley's top four scoring performances this season have all come at home.