After trailing the entire second half, a late Lake Erie College run brought the Storm to within two in the final three minutes. However, they could not get over the hump in a 65-53 loss to Saginaw Valley State University at O'Neill Arena in University Center, Mich.
The Storm (5-11, 1-8 GLIAC) was led by senior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) with 18 points. Also in double figures was sophomore guard Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) with a season-high 11 points and sophomore center Garrick Sims (Barberton Ohio, Barberton) notched his second double-digit rebounding game of the season with 10 along with six points. SVSU (8-8, 4-6 GLIAC) was led by junior guard Greg Foster with a game-high 20 points.
Trailing 53-44 after a timeout with 4:38 to play, Lake Erie scored seven straight points, including a five-point run by Bradshaw, to get within two at 53-51 as 2:32 remained. The Cardinals proceeded to go 10-of-13 from the line over that final 2:32 stretch and made their only field goal attempt to secure their fourth straight conference win after a 0-6 GLIAC start.
Lake Erie held a large 40-26 advantage on the glass but shot just 35% (18-of-52) from the field and 23% (six-of-26) on threes. The Cardinals scored 22 points off 16 Lake Erie turnovers while the Storm managed just seven tallies off 10 SVSU giveaways.
The game was tight in the early going with Lake Erie taking two early leads, the last after a Sims dunk at 11:25 to go ahead 11-9. Saginaw Valley St. would lead the rest of the half as the Storm managed to get within two at 22-20 after a layup by Davis at 5:04. The Cardinals scored the next eight points to open the first double-digit lead of the game before Lake Erie scored the final four points of the half to go to the break down 30-24.
Early second-half three-pointers from Davis and junior forward Matt Grendel (Independence, Ohio/Independence) pulled Lake Erie within three at 33-30. SVSU would slowly build its lead back up to a game-high 12 at 49-37 after a Foster jumper with 8:17 to play before the Storm started their final push.
Lake Erie returns home on Thursday in the opening game of a men's and women's GLIAC doubleheader against the sixth-ranked University of Findlay at 6:00 p.m.