DETROIT, MICH – Lake Erie College (0-1) scored the game's first six points and led for the first eight minutes before NCAA Division I University of Detroit Mercy (1-0) proved too much in a 95-57 defeat at Calihan Hall in Detroit, Mich.
Lake Erie was led by sophomore center Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/ St. Ignatius) with 21 points on eight-of-13 shooting, including a career-high three three-pointers. Sophomore guard Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus) also reached double figures in his first game as a member of the Storm with 10 points. Detroit was spurred on by senior guard Chase Simon with 24 points, 22 of which came in the second half and senior forward Nick Minnerath with 23 points, 19 of which came in the first half.
The Storm opened the scoring with three free throws from senior guard Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga Community College) and an Austin three put them ahead 6-0 2:20 into the contest. Detroit did not score until four minutes into the game when they ran off five straight points but a layup from freshman forward Jawuan Springs (Charlotte, N.C./Vance) and a pair of free throws by redshirt freshman Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) put the Storm ahead 10-5 at 14:16. The Titans scored six straight points but Lake Erie retook the lead at 12-11 with 12:19 to play in the half after an jumper from junior forward Eric Worthey (South Euclid, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy). It was the last lead for Lake Erie in the ballgame and last points the Storm would score for nearly six minutes as a 18-0 Detroit run gave the Titans a comfortable 29-12 advantage. An Austin three broke the run but another 10-0 run for Detroit to close the half gave it a 48-20 advantage at the break.
Lake Erie's starting five opened the second half strong as well, scoring nine of the half's first 15 points. Tate was able to be a consistent force throughout the second half, scoring all 10 of his points over the game's final 20 minutes. The final margin of the second 20 minutes was 47-37, as the Green and White forced Detroit to play its starters until the final buzzer.
Throughout the contest the Storm did the majority of their damage at the three-point line, as they went eight-of-21 from behind the arc. Lake Erie shot 32.2% from the field (19-of-59) while Detroit nailed 59.9% of their shots (37-of-62).
The Titans held a 42-29 rebounding edge and forced Lake Erie into 17 turnovers.
Lake Erie will play its next six contests all at home, as it kicks off play at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center Tuesday (November 15) at 7:30 against Salem International University as the second half of a men's and women's doubleheader.