Lake Erie College faced the tough task off going to GLIAC leader and No. 25-ranked Hillsdale College and the Chargers were too much as the Storm fell, 79-55, in the Jesse Phillips Arena in Hillsdale, Mich.
Lake Erie was led by junior forward Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) with 14 points. Freshman forward Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) added a career-high 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half. Hillsdale had eight players score at least four points with a game-high 24 from junior guard Tyler Gerber.
Hillsdale improves to 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in the GLIAC while Lake Erie falls to 2-4 and is still searching for its first GLIAC victory at 0-2. The Storm returns to the Jerome T. Osborne Center, where they are 2-0 this season, on Saturday (Dec. 11) when they host GLIAC foe Ashland University in a 1:00 p.m. tip.
Austin was a one-man wrecking crew for the Storm in the early going as he netted seven of Lake Erie's first nine points as they trailed by just one at 10-9 eight minutes into the game. Hillsdale ran off a quick 8-0 run but the Storm composed themselves and got back to within five at 20-15 with 6:53 left in the half after a jumper by senior guard Antonio Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood). The Chargers proceeded to break the game open with a 16-1 run before Lake Erie senior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) ended the half with a three-pointer to send the Storm to the half trailing, 36-26.
The Storm used the momentum from that three-pointer to score the first six points out of the break with three-pointers from Bradshaw and Smith to get within ten at 36-26, with 17:47 to play. It was as close as the Green and White would get in the second half as a 23-6 run by the Chargers put them ahead, 59-32 with 11:48 to play. Lake Erie chipped into the deficit and got things as close as 20 at 67-47 as Smith went on an 8-2 run individually. Hillsdale proceeded to extend its lead to a game-high 31, at 79-48, with 2:27 to play before Lake Erie scored the final seven points.
Second chance points were big for Hillsdale as they held a 12-0 advantage in the first half and a 14-6 margin for the game. Lake Erie was held to 35% shooting in the game, the third straight contest where they shot 35% or below from the field.