Storm Win Overtime Thriller Against Slippery Rock

PAINESVILLE, OHIO—Junior Riley Thomas' (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) three-pointer with 4.6 seconds left to play in regulation tied the game for the first time at 64 and sent it into overtime where the Storm shot 66.7% and hit six-of-six free-throws down the stretch to give the Lake Erie College men's basketball team a 80-73 victory over Slippery Rock University on Saturday (Nov. 24) in Painesville.

Thomas ended the game with 16 points for the Storm (3-0), seven of which came in the overtime session. Two other members of the Storm-Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) and Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon)-also scored 16.

Lake Erie shot 50% from the field in the second-half while limiting Slippery Rock (2-1) to just 30.8%. In the extra session, the Storm outshot The Rock 66.7% to 16.7%.

Slippery Rock controlled the tempo throughout the first half, gaining as much as a 12 point advantage as they took a 37-25 lead into the half. The Rock jumped out to an 11-2 lead off six points from Tabari Perry. The Storm cut the lead to two at 24-22 but The Rock were able to end the half on a 13-3 run. Slippery Rock held a 20-11 advantage on the boards and outshot the Storm 48.3% to 43.5% in the half.

Slippery Rock held the advantage throughout most of the second-half. The Storm cut the lead to six with 5:08 to play. Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) blocked a Luiz Santos shot, which led to a pair of Sims free-throws to bring the game to 58-54. Down six, Thomas hit his first-three pointer of the game to come within three. John Bayardelle missed a three-pointer for The Rock with 32 seconds to play which was rebounded by Dudley with the shot clock off for the Storm. Then, with 4.6 seconds left in regulation, Thomas hit a three-pointer in traffic to tie the game at 64 and send it to overtime. 

Austin scored the first points of the extra session to give the Storm their first lead of the game at 66-64. Thomas followed up with his third three of the game to extend the Storm's lead to five. Aubin Reeves hit a three for Slippery Rock, followed by a pair of free-throws, to tie the game at 69 but Dudley answered with a jumper and a three to put the Storm ahead. Up three with 28 seconds to play, Thomas and Dudley combined to go six-for-six on free-throws to seal the 80-73 Storm win.

In all, four members of the Storm hit double-digit scoring totals-Sims, Thomas, Dudley and Austin. Austin was a presence on the defensive side of the ball, picking up four blocks and two steals while tying Sims for the Storm lead with six rebounds. Andy Bosley (Columbus, Ohio/Orange) was a spark off the bench, picking up seven points and three steals. The strong three-point shooting performance of the Storm this season continued, as they shot 50% from beyond the arch. The Storm also performed well from the free-throw line, hitting 88% for the game.

Darious Clark led all scorers with 20 points while Devin Taylor led all players with 14 rebounds for Slippery Rock. Aubin Reeves added 19 points including nine-of-10 from the free throw line. 

The Storm open Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play against Ferris State University on Thursday, November 29th, at 6:00 pm.

-LEC-