Defensive Struggle Leads #18 Hillsdale Past Lake Erie, 64-40

Brandon Smith
Brandon Smith

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College held GLIAC leader #18 Hillsdale College to just 64 points, over nine points under its season average, but the Chargers defense was even better limiting the Storm to a season-low 40 points in a 64-40 win at the Jesse Philips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich. 

The win improved Hillsdale to 18-2 overall and 12-1 in GLIAC play while Lake Erie roundballers dropped their seventh straight contest falling to 7-12 and 2-10 in the GLIAC. 

Hillsdale had a balanced scoring effort led by forward Brad Guinane with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.  The Storm was topped by senior guard Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga Community College) with eight points, including a three-pointer. 

It was Lake Erie's only three-point make on the evening on 16 attempts as it shot just 29.4% (15-of-51) overall from the field.  The Chargers shot 42.0% (21-of-50) overall including six-of-19 (31.6%) on threes.  Hillsdale also owned the glass with a 45-29 rebounding advantage, including 15 offensive boards. 

Smith's three-pointer kicked off the scoring before Hillsdale netted five straight points.  Lake Erie retook the lead, 9-7 on a layup by sophomore guard Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus) at 11:43.  It was the Storm's last lead but the game remained tight throughout the first half, as Hillsdale held just a 10-9 advantage over 12 minutes into the game.   The Chargers led by as much as eight in the half and led at the break, 24-17.

Hillsdale scored the first four points of the second half to take its first double-digit advantage and extended its lead to 36-19 at 16:01 on a Brandon Pritzl layup.  Lake Erie focused on getting the ball inside, with its next four baskets coming via layups, but could not cut the deficit below 13 points.  Hillsdale stayed in command and extended the lead 20 on a Tim Dezelski three-pointer to make the score 52-32 at 7:37.  The Chargers maintained their defensive intensity as they held their third opponent in the last five games to no more than 50 points. 

Lake Erie returns to home Saturday it faces Ohio Dominican University with a 3:00 p.m. tipoff. 

-LEC-