PAINESVILLE, OHIO – For the second time in three days, the Lake Erie College men's basketball team had a late lead slip away in a 72-64 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to Ohio Dominican University Saturday (Jan. 8) at the Jerome T. Osborne Athletic & Wellness Center.
Sophomore Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds but it wasn't enough to lift the Storm (4-8, 0-5 GLIAC) to its first league win. Also in double figures for the Storm was junior forward Matt Grendel (Independence, Ohio/Independence) with 13 points and senior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) with 11. Four Panther players reached double-digits, led by Jake Mochoskay with 15 off the bench.
Lake Erie led 51-47 with 7:31 to go when a personal foul and a technical foul on the Ohio Dominican (3-10, 1-7 GLIAC) bench gave the Storm four free throws. However, LEC was unable to convert any of the free tosses and saw the Panthers go on a 19-6 run to over the next five minutes take a nine-point lead and control of the game.
The first half was a back-and-forth struggle with neither team taking more than a five-point advantage. Lake Erie led for most of the first five minutes of the game but would then only have the advantage for two brief stretches of the half. A Grendel three-pointer put the Storm on top, 14-12 at 11:53, and a Sims layup gave Lake Erie a 27-26 advantage at 2:58. The Panthers scored the final four points of the half, capped off by a John Trew dunk, to take a 30-27 advantage to the break.
ODU extended that advantage to five to begin the second half but an 8-1 Lake Erie run, capped off by a jumped from freshman guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln), gave the Green and White a 35-33 advantage with 16:58 to go. The game would stay tight throughout the second half as there were seven ties in the half and 13 for the game. The Storm would take their biggest lead of the game at 48-43 on a Grendel jumper at 9:51. ODU chipped away at that lead and the game went to the final five minutes tied at 55-55 as the Storm proceeded to scoreless over a 3:27 stretch and seven ODU points during that time took command of the game. Lake Erie never got closer than five points again as the Panthers had no problem icing the game at the foul line, going 10-of-12 at the charity stripe in the final 90 seconds.
Shooting was again a key factor for the Storm as they shot 35.4% (23-of-65) from the field, 15.8% (three-of-19) on threes and 51.7% (15-of-29) from the foul line.
Lake Erie opens a four-game road trip Thursday night, Jan. 13, at top-ranked University of Findlay. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.