PAINESVILLE, Ohio-- The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was unable to overcome a second-half run by Tiffin University as they fell to the Dragons, 81-74, Thursday evening (Jan. 30) in Painesville.
The Storm trailed 7-2 early on but tied it up at nine following a three-pointer by Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln). The game remained close until the Dragons pulled ahead, 18-13, with nine minutes to play in the half. The Storm responded with a 6-2 run to bring the lead within one before Tiffin scored six straight to re-establish the lead.
The Dragons led by seven, 30-23, with four minutes to play in the half before the Storm closed it by outscoring Tiffin 6-3 to bring the lead down to four entering the break.
Thomas led the Storm with 11 first-half points while Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) had ten. The Storm shot 39.3% (11-of-28) in the first-half but converted just two-of-14 three-pointers. The Dragons shot 43.3% (13-of-30) in the half and owned a slight rebounding edge, 19-18.
Lake Erie scored the first three points of the second-half to bring the score within one. Michael Morris (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) tied the game at 41 five minutes into the half.
The teams traded the lead five times in the the ensuing three minutes before the Dragons went on a 9-0 run to take a 56-47 lead and gain control the rest of the way.
The Storm cut the Dragons 13 point advantage down to seven in the closing minutes but it was not enough as the Dragons closed out the win at the free-throw line.
Sims ended the game with 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the Storm while Thomas posted 17 points and four rebounds. Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) had a solid all-around game, tallying 13 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Morris finished with 12 points, converting all five of his free-throw attempts. Andy Bosley (Columbus, Ohio/Orange) had seven points to go alongside his five rebounds and two assists.
The Storm shot 41.3% (26-of-63) from the floor for the game but just 22.7% (five-of-22) on three-pointers. They converted 17-of-22 (77.3%) free-throw opportunities.
Khaleal McCormick led the Dragons with 31 points. Joe Grassle had 19 points to go with his game-high nine rebounds and Ashton Khan netted 16. The Dragons hit 50% (29-of-58) of their shots but only one three-pointer in ten attempts. They owned a narrow 38-36 advantage in rebounds and committed just nine turnovers compared to the Storm's 12.
The Storm is back in action Saturday (Feb. 1), playing host to Ohio Dominican University.