Storm Hoops Returns From Two-Week Layoff With Saturday Tilt at Urbana

GAME 20: Lake Erie College Storm (6-13) at Urbana University Blue Knights (10-10)
When: Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Warren G. Grimes Center Gymnasium (2,500 capacity) in Urbana, Ohio
Radio/Audio Broadcast: none
Series History: Series Tied, 1-1
Last Meeting: Feb. 7, 2009 (Urbana won, 82-76, in Painesville, Ohio)

TIP-INS

WELL-RESTED STORM TRAVELS TO URBANA AFTER LONG LAYOFF: Coming off a 14-day break in the schedule, the Lake Erie College men's basketball team travels to Urbana for a 1:30 p.m. battle with the Blue Knights. It is the second of three straight road games for Lake Erie, which will go 26 days without a home game and does not return to the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center until Jan. 30 against Ohio Dominican. Lake Erie is coming off a Jan. 9 loss at Central State, 82-74, in which junior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) poured in 25 points.

23rd SEASON OF STORM HOOPS: This is the 23rd season in Lake Erie men's basketball history, in which the Storm has posted an overall record of 187-374 (.333). However, since opening the 2002-03 season, Lake Erie is 114-94 (.548).

RANK AND FILE: If Indiana (Pa.) holds its No. 9 position in the National Association of Basketball Coaches rankings, the Storm will have played three teams that were ranked in the top 10 in the country when the teams matched up. The Storm met defending national champion Findlay on Nov. 24. The Oilers were ranked No. 4 at the time. The Storm dropped an 88-86 decision to then-No. 2 Florida Southern on Dec. 28. On Dec. 14, the Storm also played then-No. 20 Southern Indiana, which is the current fourth-ranked team in Division II. Lake Erie has a home date with Indiana (Pa.) on Feb. 8, the sixth nationally-ranked team on the Storm's slate in 2009-10.

UP NEXT: Lake Erie continues its road trip on Monday (Jan. 25) at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, W. Va. The Storm and Senators will tip off at 7:30 p.m.

STORM CLOUDS

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE STORM: On Jan. 9, the Lake Erie Storm fell at Central State, 82-74, in Wilberforce, Ohio. The Storm fell behind early, 7-0, and eventually turned a first-half, double-digit deficit into a one-point halftime lead, closing the half with a 32-21 run in the last 14 minutes. The Marauders took a 44-42 lead early in the second half, and the Storm bounced back with four straight points to take the lead. It would be the last lead of the game for the Storm, though, as Central State built up an 11-point lead with 5:39 to play. Junior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) led all scorers with 25 points while adding seven boards. Senior wing Darnell Campbell (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) posted 13 points and nine rebounds and freshman pivot Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) tallied 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting.

CLICKING CAMPBELL: In the last six games, Lake Erie has gotten huge production from its lone senior on the floor, Darnell Campbell.  He scored his 1,000th career point in a 21-point effort against California (Pa.) on Dec. 21. That was the beginning of a stretch in which the 6-foot-6 Campbell has averaged 15.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. He has at least five rebounds in each of those six games. He also piled up a season-high 11 rebounds in a Jan. 4 win over Davis & Elkins, recording his eighth career double-double in the process. Twice in the stretch, Campbell has come up one point or rebounds short of a double-double. Campbell sits in ninth place on the Storm's all-time scoring list with 1,084 career points.

KIDD CONNECTING FROM DEEP: In the last five games, junior guard Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) is shooting 50% (14-of-28) from three-point range.  Prior to that, he was hitting on just 28.6% from beyond the arc. Kidd is third on the team in scoring in that span, averaging 13.2 points per game.

E's PRODUCTION: Junior guard Ethan Bradshaw has also been very good in his last five outings, posting 17.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Bradshaw is the Storm's leading scorer at 14.2 points per game and leads the team with 26 steals.

3-D IS KEY: In six Storm wins, Lake Erie has limited its opponents to just 20.5 percent (23-112) shooting from beyond the arc. But in 13 Storm losses, opponents shoot 45.9 percent (102-222) from long range. Lake Erie is just 1-8 when the opponent shoots at least 40 percent from outside and 5-5 when the opponent is under 40 percent.

WINNING THE FIRST HALF: Thus far this season, the Storm can place a high importance on getting off to a strong start. The Storm is 5-0 when leading at halftime, but just 1-13 when trailing at the break. Also, Lake Erie is just 1-10 when the opponent gets on the board first, but is 5-3 when converting the first bucket of the game.

FROSH DEVELOPMENT: One key to the Lake Erie basketball program as it continues its transition to Division II is the development of its four-year players. Head coach Cliff Hunt may have found a gem in freshman Garrick Sims. The 6-8 center is averaging 7.5 points and 5.5 boards and his 57.7 field-goal percentage is second on the team.

OFFENSIVE OUTPUT: In a Dec. 28 loss 88-86 loss to No. 2 Florida Southern featured the Storm's most impressive offensive outing of the season. It was the first time since the season-opener against Ohio Valley (a triple-overtime 86-84 win) on Nov. 15 that the Storm scored more than 73 points. Lake Erie had four players in double figures including three with 20 or more points. Antonio Kidd, Ethan Bradshaw had 21 points apiece while Darnell Campbell scored 20 points for the second consecutive game. Alex Davis chipped in 10 points. The Storm shot 52.3 percent (34-65) from the field and buried a season-high 10 three-pointers on 21 attempts.

DISHING THE ROCK: The Storm also showed a brilliant proficiency distributing the ball in that effort, handing out a season-high 21 assists, led by Ethan Bradshaw's career-high eight. Darnell Campbell set a season-high with six helpers, falling just one assist short of a career-high.

WILD OPENER: Lake Erie played arguably its wildest season opener on Nov. 15, outlasting Ohio Valley 86-84 in triple overtime.  It was the longest game ever played at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.  It was the Storm's first overtime victory since Dec. 19, 2006 and evened their record in overtime since 1994 at 4-4.