(CANTON, Ohio) – Lake Erie will enter its second consecutive G-MAC Tournament on the high of setting a couple new program records. With Saturday's 79-71 victory over Malone, the Storm set new marks for overall wins (17) and conference wins (12) in its Division II era. The last time the Storm reached that win total was their final season as a Division III member during the 2007-08 campaign that saw them go 18-9 overall and 13-4 in the AMCC.
The Storm (17-11, 12-8) won the game impressively as well as they led from start to finish with their best shooting day of the season. Overall Lake Erie was 32-of-55 from the field for 58.2 percent in avenging an earlier season loss to the Pioneers (15-13, 9-11).
The main catalyst for the high success rate was redshirt sophomore Lamont Rhodes who dominated inside with 24 points, six rebounds, and three blocks. He was 11-of-13 overall from the field and one of four starters in double-figures.
Gabe Kynard joined him as he nearly reached his average with 17 points with a pair of 3-pointers and eight rebounds. Harrison Riggs had another impressive day with 14 points. He was 5-of-8 from the field which included a 3-for-5 mark behind the arc. He pulled down five caroms himself and led the team with four assists and four steals as well. Brogan Scott completed the quartet with 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field. Like the others, he cleaned up on the glass with seven boards.
The inside game helped the Storm immensely as they outscored the Pioneers 48-30 inside the paint. The also aided in Malone miscues to outscore the hosts 20-8 in points off turnovers.
Malone was led by Bryce Butler who had his own hot-shooting day from the floor as he made 9-of-11 attempts for 22 points.
The Storm will now prep for a rubber match with Hillsdale College in Michigan on Tuesday in the G-MAC Quarterfinals. Each team won at home in the regular season with the Chargers scoring a 61-47 victory in December before the Storm evened the season a couple of weeks ago with a 53-52 thriller on Senior Day. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.