PAINESVILLE, OHIO—For a second straight game, junior Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) tied the game with seconds to play in regulation to send the Lake Erie College men's basketball team into overtime against Ferris State University, but the Storm were unable to over come Kenny Brown's 31-point performance as the Storm dropped their Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener Thursday (Nov. 29), 80-74.
The Storm (3-1, 0-1 GLIAC) jumped out to an 11-3 lead, including the game's first seven points, going three-of-four from the floor and four-of-four from the free-throw line. Lake Erie continued to cruise throughout the first half, gaining as much as a 12-point advantage, and took a 33-24 lead into the half. The Storm capitalized on the 10 turnovers they forced in the first half, scoring nine points off of those turnovers. Lake Erie also capitalized on free-throw opportunities, converting all six in the half.
Thomas led the Storm with nine points in the first half including four-of-four from the free-throw line. Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio) hit both of his three-point attempts for six points in the half. Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) grabbed six rebounds to help the Storm outrebounded the Bulldogs 18-11 in the half.
The Bulldogs (2-2, 1-0 GLIAC) got out to a fast start in the second and tied the game at 41. They took their first lead of the game at 43-41 but the lead was short lived as a quick Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohi/St. Ignatius) three followed by an electrifying dunk from Dudley off a turnover put the Storm ahead 46-43 with 9:41 to play. The Storm could not put the Bulldogs away as they were able to take a 58-56 lead with 2:22 to play off a jumper from Brown. An Austin rebound tied the game up at 58 but a pair of Brown free-throws put the Bulldogs up once again. Tied at 60, Brown and Drew Lehman hit three free-throws but Parker answered with a jumper to pull within one. On the rebound, the Storm forced a turnover but were unable to convert the opportunity. Following another Lehman free-throw, Thomas took the ball down the court and hit a lay-up with one second left in regulation to tie the game at 64 and send the Storm into overtime for the second straight game.
Parker scored the first points of the extra session following a Dudley block. But on the following possession, Brown was fouled on a three-point attempt and converted all three free-throws to take a one-point lead which the Bulldogs would not relinquish.
Brown was eight-of-19 from the field, including four-of-12 from beyond the arc, and was a perfect 11-of-11 at the foul line for his game-high 31 points.
Parker and Thomas scored 18 points apiece to lead the Storm in scoring while Dudley picked up 12. Austin picked up his first double-digit rebounding performance of the season with 10 but the Storm were outrebounded by the Bulldogs 39-37.
Lehman was second in scoring for the Bulldogs with 16 points. Daniel Sutherlin and Jared Stolicker led Ferris State with 11 boards apiece. Overall, four Bulldogs scored in double-digits as Sutherlin (10 points) picked up a double-double.
Despite hitting all six free-throw attempts in the first-half, the Storm only hit two-of-12 attempts the rest of the game. Thomas hit a pair of free throws in the closing seconds that snapped a streak of seven straight misses at the line for LEC.
The Storm return to action Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm to host GLIAC foe Grand Valley State University at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center in Painesville.