PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Visiting Wayne State University scored the first nine points of the game and never trailed in a 67-56 victory over the Lake Erie College men's basketball team in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener on Thursday night (Dec. 3) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
The Warriors (4-1, 1-0 GLIAC) held the Storm (3-2, 0-1 GLIAC) in check during the opening minutes of the game and then held off a couple of second-half comeback bids by the home team, snapping Lake Erie's three-game winning streak in the process.
Lake Erie missed its first nine shots from the field and didn't get on the board until a pair of free throws by sophomore Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) 3:28 into the game. The Storm's biggest deficit in the opening half was 15 at 20-5, with 8:13 gone off the clock.
A 13-4 run got the Storm back into the game, closing within six at 24-18 five minutes before halftime on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus). LEC, which rebounded to go eight-of-16 from the floor after its poor start, crept within five with 1:#7 to go, but the Warriors got two buckets in the final minute of the half to take a 31-22 lead into intermission.
A 6-0 Wayne State run to open the second half pushed the margin back into double digits, where it grew to as many as 17 on two occasions.
Back-to-back baskets by redshirt freshman Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) midway through the half capped an 11-2 run that brought Lake Erie within seven at 48-41. But Wayne State answered again, going back up by 13 with five minutes to play.
The Storm got it back down to seven with two minutes to play on a lay-up in transition, but a bucket by Mike Hollingsworth and then an emphatic dunk by Ike Udanoh sealed the Warriors' fourth straight win.
Mike Hollingsworth led all players with 19 points. He was one of three Warriors in double figures.
Austin scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Dudley finished with 13 points to lead the Storm. For Dudley, it was his second straight game in double figures.
Lake Erie finished 20-of-53 from the field (37.7%), including just six-of-26 (23.1%) from three-point range.
Wayne State connected on 26-of-50 (52%) from the floor, going 12-of-19 (63.2%) in the second half. Ian Larkin scored 14 points and Cole Prophet chipped in with 12. Udanoh added nine points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for the road team, which had a 48-20 advantage in the game on points in the paint.
The Storm will look to bounce back on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 3, when it hosts Hillsdale College in the second game of a GLIAC doubleheader. The men will follow the women's game around 3 p.m.