ERIE, Pa. – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team opened play at the 33rd Gary Miller Classic with a matchup with the host, the Gannon University Golden Knights on Friday (Nov. 25).
The Golden Knights used a late second half run to take down the Storm and advance to the Championship game with an 83-77 win. Lake Erie is now 0-5 on the season.
Gannon opened the game with a 4-0 lead before back-to-back Storm threes tied the game at six. Over the next two minutes, Gannon reopened a 15-9 lead with a 9-3 run. Three pointers by Ennis Thomas (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) and Mitch Loomis (Malvern, Ohio / Malvern) capped an 8-0 run, giving the Storm a 17-15 lead with 12:27 left in the first half. The Golden Knights stuck back out to a four point lead with nine minutes left. Lake Erie hit four more three pointers as a part of a 16-3 run that put the Storm up 37-28 with 4:33 left in the first half. The Golden Knights regained the 42-41 lead with 26 seconds left, a part of a 13-4 run. Thomas nailed a three pointer with four seconds left, giving the Storm a 44-42 lead at halftime.
The Storm shot 54% (14-26) in the first half, including 71% (10-14) from long distance. Gannon shot 50% from the floor. Sean Howard (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence North) led the Storm with ten points in the first half.
After a slow start to the second half, the game was tied 48-48 with 15:07 left. Loomis hit a layup and a three pointer as he scored five straight points for a 53-48 Storm lead. Just like the back-and-forth action in the first half, Gannon answered Loomis with an 8-2 run for a 56-55 lead. Prior to the under eight media timeout, Howard buried a jumper off of a Jordan Michael (Fairborn, Ohio / Fairborn) steal, regaining a 63-60 lead. Following the timeout, Thomas scored four straight points opening a seven point lead with 6:17 left.
Just as the Storm had a lead, Gannon scored ten straight points, opening a 70-67 lead with 3:42 left. Gannon never looked back as they extended the lead to as many as seven in the final three minutes. Howard scored seven of his 21 points in the final three minutes.
Lake Erie struggled shooting in the second half, as they only shot 31% (10-32) and 10% (1-10) from three. They finished with a 41% shooting percentage. Gannon shot 45% (25-55) in the game.
Howard led the Storm with a season-high 21 points and four assists. Thomas tied a season-high with 14 points. Loomis set a career-high with 13 points.
Lake Erie will face Malone in the third place game on Saturday (Nov. 26) as the Pioneers fell 75-58 to Ohio Dominican.