ASHLAND, Ohio-- The Lake Erie College men's basketball team's second-half rally fell short against Ashland University Thursday night (Feb. 27) as the Storm dropped their final game of the season to the Eagles, 76-72, in Ashland.
Lake Erie ended the season with a 10-18 overall record and were 7-15 in GLIAC play.
The Storm started the game on a roll, scoring the first eight points. The Eagles cut the lead down with a 5-0 run but Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and Thomas Riley (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) extended the lead back to eight. Once again, the Eagles rattled off five straight points heading into the first media timeout.
After the timeout, Sean Howard (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) hit a three but it was answered by Ashland. That three-pointer kicked-off a 9-0 run that put the Eagles in front, 21-19. Colin Barth (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) provided an answer for the Storm, tying the game at 21. Thomas followed up Barth's basket with his second three of the game to push the Storm back in front but the Eagles regained the lead moments later, ending the first-half outscoring the Storm 16-5.
Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) led Lake Erie with eight points and three rebounds in the opening frame. Thomas ended the half with seven while Parker had five. The Storm hit 11-of-28 (39.3%) shots in the first and were four-of-10 (40%) from beyond the arch. Will Evans led Ashland with 10 points.
Ashland scored the first four points of the half before Michael Morris (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) got the Storm on the board in the second-half with a three pointer. Thomas scored the next nine points for Lake Erie as they brought the lead down to eight.
Trailing 53-41 after a pair of Eagle baskets, Parker scored five straight points to cut the lead to seven. Thomas then brought the lead to four with another three-pointer.
After trading baskets, Howard and Thomas hit back-to-back threes to put the Storm back in front, 57-55, with less than ten to play. The lead was short lived as the Eagles went on a 5-0 run. Sims hit a jumper to bring the lead back to one but once again, the Eagles rallied once again, moving ahead 69-62.
Howard hit a pair of free-throws to bring the game within three points with less than two to play but the Eagles pushed back ahead, taking a 72-66.
The Storm did not bow out easily. Howard, Sims and Thomas hit three quick baskets to tie it up in the final minute. Dawuan Thomas and Boo Osborne hit a pair of free-throws each in the final 19 seconds to play to put the Eagles in the lead while the defense kept the Storm off the board to seal the win.
Thomas led the Storm with 24 points. Sims ended the game with 18 points and eight rebounds, going six-of-eight from the floor. Parker netted 10 points to go along with four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Howard added 12 points off the bench.
The Storm hit 25-of-61 (41%) of their shots and were 10-of-27 (37%) of their threes.
Evans and Thomas led Ashland with 16 points each while Osborne added 13. The Eagles shot 46.9% (23-of-49) from the floor and had a slight 35-34 rebound advantage.