PAINESVILLE, Ohio—The Lake Erie College men's basketball battled back from an eight point second-half deficit to send the game into overtime where Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) connected on a pair late free-throw attempts to defeat Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division foe Ohio Dominican University, 60-59, in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon (Feb. 23) in Painesville.
Junior center Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) picked up his first double-double of the as the Storm (8-17, 5-16 GLIAC) snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Lake Erie defense held Ohio Dominican (4-22, 1-20 GLIAC) without a field goal for the first seven-and-a-half minutes. The Panthers missed their first ten shots and turned the ball over seven times in that stretch but the Storm were unable to take advantage as the teams were even throughout the period and were tied 23-23 at the half.
Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) led the Storm with seven first-half points on three-of-four (75%) shooting from the field. Lake Erie shot 37% (10-of-27) from the floor in the first half. The Panthers shot just 21.2% (seven-of-33), including 0-of-seven on three-point attempts, but made up for it by converting nine-of-10 (90%) free-throw attempts. Ohio Dominican owned a 25-19 advantage on rebounds. The teams combined for 22 turnovers, 11 apiece, in the half.
The Panthers started the second-half on a 7-2 run to take a 30-25 lead. Lake Erie responded with a 6-2 run to cut the lead to 32-21 with 14:28 remaining in the half but the Panthers outscored the Storm 10-5 over the next three minutes to increase their lead to 42-36. LEC battled back, tying the game at 51 with three minutes to play but neither team was able to find the bottom of the net the rest of the half, sending the game into overtime.
Sims led the Storm in the second-half with 10 points and nine rebounds. Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) scored six and grabbed five rebounds in the half. The Storm shot just 33.3% (eight-of-24) in the half but outrebounded the Panthers 21-12. Morgan Jones led the Panthers with 11 points in the half.
The overtime session started in a frantic pace. Ohio Dominican got on the board first but the Storm quickly responded to keep the game tied. After trading points once again, the Panthers went on a 4-0 run to take a 59-55 lead. Parker scored the final five points of the game for the Storm, connecting on a three-pointer to cut the lead to one with less than two minutes left. He was then fouled on a rebound on the defensive end, putting him at the line with 22 seconds left. The third-year guard connected on both free-throws to put the Storm ahead by one. Ohio Dominican had two opportunities to take the lead in the final five seconds but were unable to convert as the Storm completed the comeback win.
Sims, who scored 12 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, was joined in double-digit scoring by Austin (12) and Parker (11). Three Lake Erie players finished with eight or more rebounds- Sims, Andy Bosley (Columbus, Ohio/Orange) (9) and Austin (8)- as they outrebounded Ohio Dominican 44-40. The Storm defense forced 19 turnovers as Parker and Bosley had four steals apiece. Overall, the Storm shot 36.8% (21-of-57) from the floor in the game.
Morgan Jones led the Panthers with a game-high 19 points while Bobby Stauffer added 10 points, including eight-of-eight from the free-throw line. Ohio Dominican shot just 28.3% (17-of-60) from the floor foverall.
The Storm conclude the 2012-13 season next Saturday, March 2, at home against Ashland University on Senior Day.