Lake Erie Debuts as Division II Team

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (November 15, 2008) - Lake Erie College made its debut this evening as an NCAA Division II provisional member in the opening game of its Tip-Off Tournament, which is the first tournament ever held in the history of the school, losing to Alderson-Broaddus College, 83-63.

The Storm made things interesting against last season's nationally-ranked Battlers, taking the lead off the opening tip on a three-pointer by senior forward Rick Leasure (Concord, Ohio/Riverside). The hosts went ahead by as many as seven in the first half, before being overtaken by the Battlers, 22-20 with just over nine minutes to play. Lake Erie scored just 10 of its 33 first-half points in the paint as it trailed by one after 20 minutes of play.

In the second half, Lake Erie connected on 39-percent of its field goal attempts, while going 9-for-13 from the line. Alderson-Broaddus shot 59-percent from the floor to increase the deficit and earn a chance at the tournament title.

Lake Erie was led by senior forward Darnell Campbell (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) with 14 points and three blocks. Leasure added 13 points, while senior forward Derrick Thornton (University Heights, Ohio/Lutheran East) and sophomore guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) contributed 10 points apiece. Leasure and Bradshaw pulled down a team-high six rebounds, and senior guard John Dickinson (Euclid, Ohio/Euclid) totaled five assists.

Lake Erie (0-1) plays in the consolation game at 1 p.m. Sunday against Point Park University who lost in the second game of the night, 84-67 to Saint Joseph's College (Ind.). Alderson-Broaddus and Saint Joseph's will square off in the championship game at 3 p.m. with an awards ceremony to follow. The Lake Erie game will be broadcast on WELW 1330 AM and welw.com on a delay beginning at 3 p.m.