Storm Rallies from 18-Point Deficit, Falls Just Short Against No. 25 Kentucky Wesleyan

PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Lake Erie Storm men's basketball team took the No. 25 Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers to the brink on Saturday (Dec. 12) night at the Owensboro Sportscenter before falling short, 75-73.
 
Junior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) scored a career and Storm season-high 31 points in the effort.
 
The Storm (4-7) entered the game on a two-game winning streak, but fell behind early to a Kentucky Wesleyan (10-1) program that has won eight national championships.
 
The Panthers held a steady lead throughout the first half and led by 15 (39-24) at the intermission after going on a 7-0 run to close the half.
 
After a three-pointer by the Panthers' Chris Williams to start the second half, the Storm was behind by 18, but fought back from there.
 
During a 10-minute stretch of the second half, the Storm went on a 34-13 run to take a four-point lead with just over four minutes left. Bradshaw had 21 of his 31 points in the second half to lead the Storm on the run, while junior forward Joe Roberts (Cleveland, Ohio/Rhodes/Alderson-Braoddus) scored all of his 13 points in the second half.
 
After the Panthers tied the game on a Desmond Stephens free throw with 2:41 to play, Bradshaw buried a three-pointer and freshman guard Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) converted a free throw to retain the four-point lead.
 
With 86 seconds left, Williams knocked down another three to cut the Lake Erie lead to one, 73-72. After a defensive stop for the Panthers, Stephens connected on a jumper to give KWC a one-point lead.
 
Bradshaw missed a jumper on the Storm's next trip and Stephens drained one of two free throws to lead, 75-73.

After a timeout, the Storm could not muster a final shot as the Panthers forced a turnover to close the game.
 
Lake Erie buckled down on the defensive side of the floor, limiting the Panthers to just 32 percent (8-for-25) shooting in the second half. Meanwhile, on the offensive side, the Storm hit on 58 percent (15-for-26) of its own shots in the final 20 minutes.
 
Despite shooting 47 percent (25-for-53) from the field, the Storm was limited by 23 turnovers on the night, helping the Panthers to 15 fast-break points.
 
Bradshaw and fellow junior guard Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) combined to hit seven threes on the night.
 
After Saturday's heartbreaker in Owensboro, the Storm will return to the floor to face another stiff opponent, No. 20 Southern Indiana, on Monday. The Screaming Eagles also have a national championship under their belt to go along with more than 20 NCAA Tournament appearances. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m on Monday.