OWENSBORO, Ky. – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was in action today as they were defeated by Kentucky Wesleyan, 95-79.
The first minute and a half of the game was scoreless before Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) opened the scoring with a jumper, to give the Storm an early 2-0 lead. The first five minutes of the game were back and forth as the Storm led 11-6, with just under 15 minutes remaining in the half. The Panthers came out of the timeout on a 6-0 run to take a 12-11 lead. The Panthers run was halted by a Mitch Loomis (Malvern, Ohio / Malvern) layup. The game remained close, but the Panthers held a 16-15 lead at the under 12 minute media timeout in the first half. The teams continued to trade baskets through the middle part of the half, and Kentucky Wesleyan led Lake Erie 29-26 with just over six minutes remaining in the half. The Storm grabbed a 30-29 edge when Kynard and Ennis Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South) made back to back baskets for the Storm. The game was deadlocked at 32 points apiece at the final media timeout of the first half. Neither team was able to pull away to end the half, but the Panthers led, 45-42 at the intermission.
At the half, the Storm was led by Kynard as he had a game high 17 points, and five rebounds. Jordan Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) added 10 points and a team high four assists in the half.
The Panthers opened the second half on a 5-0 run that forced a Storm timeout about a minute into the second half. The Kentucky Wesleyan run continued after the timeout, but was halted by a Lamont Rhodes (Bedford, Ohio / Bedford) layup. The Storm answered with a quick 7-0 run to cut the Panthers lead to 54-49, with just over 16 minutes remaining in the second half. The run was sparked by Rhodes as he had six points and a steal during the run. After Lake Erie cut the lead to four, Kentucky Wesleyan responded with a 7-0 run to stretch their lead to double digits, with just over 13 minutes remaining in the game. After a Storm basket trimmed the lead to single digits, a 9-0 Panthers run gave them a 71-54 edge with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Storm continued to battle but trailed, 74-63 at the under eight minute media timeout. The Panthers continued their strong play, and led 84-68 at the final media timeout of the game. The Storm fell, 95-79.
The Storm was led by a trio of players. Kynard set a career high in points with 24 and had a team leading nine assists. Humphrey also had a career high in points with 23, and grabbed a team leading six rebounds. Rhodes added 14 points, five rebounds, and two steals in the game.
Head Coach Kyle Conley said, "The game got away from us in the first five minutes of the second half. A couple of quick turnovers hurt us, and we didn't play with the energy level defensively that is needed to beat Kentucky Wesleyan on the road."
Lake Erie will return to the court Saturday (Dec. 30) when they host Trevecca Nazarene, with the game set to tip at 1 p.m.