PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College (3-4, 0-3 GLIAC) ran into a hot shooting Ashland University (4-4, 1-2 GLIAC) squad and were unable to keep pace in a 73-54 road loss at Kates Gymnasium in Ashland, Ohio.
The Eagles shot 53.8% (28-of-52) from the field while the Storm made a season-low 31.4% of their shots. Turnovers also hampered Lake Erie as they committed 19.
The Storm was led by sophomore guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) with a season-high 14 points, going four-of-five on three pointers. Senior guard Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga Community College) also reached double figures with 10 points, spurred on by an eight-of-eight day at the foul line. Ashland's Evan Yates led all players with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Lake Erie never led as the teams traded opening layups before Ashland went on an 8-0 run to jump out to a 10-2 advantage. After scoring just two points in the first six and a half minutes, Lake Erie closed within four at 12-8, but the Eagles charged forward to take a 26-13 lead with 4:39 to play. The Storm was able to get within six at went to the half within striking distances at 32-24.
A Thomas three got Lake Erie to within five at 34-29 in the opening minutes of the second half but Ashland scored eight straight points to open the margin to 13 at 42-29. Lake Erie did not go away as it scored eight straight of its own to answer, as a layup by sophomore guard Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) made the score 44-39 with 12:20 to go. It was as close as the Storm could get as Ashland came right back with nine straight points and the Eagles led by double digits for the final 10 minutes
Lake Erie will return to action Saturday with its final game before the holidays at Northwood University.