PAINESVILLE, Ohio - Senior forward Darnell Campbell (Cleveland,
Ohio/Collinwood) converted a put-back attempt with 3.8 seconds left
to lift the Lake Erie Storm to a 54-53 win over the University of
Indianapolis on Sunday (Dec. 6) afternoon at the Jerome T. Osborne
Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
Campbell, who had six points on the day, grabbed an offensive board off a long jumper by freshman center Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) after a broken play as the shot clock wound down.
"We ran a set, but basketball is a fluid game and once the shot went up, Darnell made the play," Storm head coach Cliff Hunt said.
After a pair of timeouts, Lake Erie (4-6) still needed to defend to close the game and came up with a big stop, not allowing the Greyhounds (3-3) enough space for a shot as the buzzer sounded.
The Storm, which beat Edinboro, 61-54, on Saturday afternoon, bursted to an 18-0 lead to start the game. Indianapolis missed its first 11 shots of the game, while the Storm started 7-for-11, getting eight of its first 14 points from junior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep). Indianapolis did not have a field goal until 12:43 remained in the half.
But the Greyhounds gradually inched their way back into the game, climbing to within four points, 27-23, at the break by out-scoring Lake Erie 23-9 in the final 13 minutes of the half.
"With big leads you know it's going to be tough to keep that edge the whole way," Hunt said. "You can lose some of that momentum as they come back.
"It can be a kiss of death," he added. "You try and gain that momentum back as the game goes on."
Lake Erie maintained its short lead throughout the second half until 3:14 remained in the game when Sergey Struck's layup gave Indianapolis a 48-47 advantage. Bradshaw's layup with 2:49 left gave the Storm the lead back, but Darius Adams, the game's leading scorer with 16 points, connected on a three-pointer with just over two minutes left to give the Greyhounds a 51-49 lead.
Then off a missed three-pointer by Storm junior guard Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood), Sims ripped down the offensive rebound and converted the put-back and ensuing free-throw attempt to give the Storm a one-point lead.
DeWann Squires' jumper from the right elbow with 37 seconds left gave the Greyhounds the lead that would evaporate on Campbell's put-back.
Indianapolis had one final shot, but unlike Thursday night when Adams went the length of the floor to beat Northern Kentucky at the buzzer, the Greyhounds were unable to come up with a shot as the clock ran out.
As the Storm tried to hold off the Greyhounds, Kidd found himself knocking down shots with consistency in the second half, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the last 20 minutes. He also had a team-high four assists.
"Kidd hit some big shots for us," Hunt said. "There were times in the second half when we needed a score and he knocked down some big ones.
"They were conscious of our big guys all the time and didn't let us post Joe [Roberts] or Garrick."
Roberts (Cleveland, Ohio/Rhodes/Alderson-Broaddus) finished with
a game and career-high 14 rebounds (including five offensive) for
the Storm. He added eight points.
The Storm, after its hot start, hit 40 percent (23-for-57) from the field, while also limiting the Greyhounds to just over 40 percent shooting as well.
The teams also combined to take just nine free-throw
Lake Erie does not return to the floor until Saturday (Dec. 12) at perennial Division II national power Kentucky Wesleyan College. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.