Storm Opens Season With Triple Overtime Victory

PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Senior Darnell Campbell (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) scored eight points in the third overtime, including the game-winner with 26 seconds left as the Lake Erie College men's basketball team opened its season with a wild and thrilling 86-84 triple-overtime victory Sunday night (Nov. 15) over Ohio Valley University in the first game of the Lake Erie Tip-Off Tournament at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.

The game was the longest ever played at the Osborne Center, and tied for the longest game played in Lake Erie history (vs. Grace College in Canton, Ohio 12/19/08).

Campbell, who finished with 16 points and a team-leading nine rebounds, was one of four Storm (1-0) players in double figures. Junior Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) led the way with a game-high 19, including four three-pointers. Junior newcomer Joe Roberts (Cleveland, Ohio/Rhodes/Cuyahoga CC) had 17 points and junior guard Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) finished with 16 points, also hitting four three's.

"It means a lot to the guys to get this win," Campbell said.

The back-and-forth contest saw the lead change hands 14 times to go along with 16 ties. Lake Erie had the game's biggest lead at eight points midway through the second half, but neither team's advantage got to more than four points over the game's final 24 minutes.

"Coaches can draw up plays, but the players have to make plays and that's what we did," Lake Erie head coach Cliff Hunt said.

Ohio Valley (0-1) jumped out to an early six-point edge, 12-6, in the game's opening minutes. But despite shooting over 54 percent in the first half, the Fighting Scots were hampered by 13 turnovers. That allowed Lake Erie to take a three-point lead, 33-30, at halftime.

"We looked a little tentative early on," said Hunt. "It was the first time playing at the college level for a lot of guys."

A dunk by Campbell pushed the lead to five early in the second, but an 8-0 run by the Scots put them ahead with 17:39 to go in regulation. Lake Erie followed with an 11-0 spurt, including a ferocious fast-break, alley-oop dunk by Campbell and a pair of jumpers by Kidd, to take its biggest lead of the game.

The Scots chipped away, tying it at 50-50 on a lay-up by Sean Whiting. A pair of Whiting free throws with 1:53 to go gave the Scots a two-point lead, but Campbell sent the game into overtime tied at 56 with an offensive rebound and putback in the final seconds.

The script was reversed in the first extra period, as Kidd's free throw put Lake Erie up 67-65 with 21 seconds to go. Donavin Vinson answered for Ohio Valley to force a second OT.

After a sluggish second overtime period saw the two teams combine for just 14 points, Campbell took over the final five minutes.

He scored the Storm's final eight points, including two free throws in the final minute, to put Lake Erie ahead. David White's three-pointer for the win at the buzzer rattled around the rim before falling out.

The Storm hit all four of their free throw attempts in the final overtime, but overall, LEC hit on just 44.1% (15-of-34) from the stripe, compared to 73.9% (17-of-23) by the Scots.

"To miss that many free throws and still get the win," Hunt said, "you've got to be doing something right."

They made up for their shortcomings at the line on the defensive end, forcing 27 Ohio Valley turnovers and holding the Scots to just one-of-14 shooting from three-point range. 

Ohio Valley had five players score in double figures, including two players with double-doubles. Vinson led the way with 19 points and 10 boards. Whiting finished with 15 points and Rodney Everage, Micah Mills and Solomon Tate all had 12.

The Scots out-rebounded the Storm 50-45 and had a 60-44 edge in points in the paint. But Lake Erie scored 26 points off turnovers to pull out the win.

The Storm will face Saint Joseph's College, a 125-98 winner over Point Park University in Sunday's nightcap, in the tournament's championship game on Monday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m. Point Park and Ohio Valley will play the tournament's consolation game at 4 p.m.