BOWLING GREEN, OHIO—The Lake Erie College men's basketball team opened its 2012-13 with an exhibition game against NCAA Division I Bowling Green State University. Though the Storm were competitive throughout the entire game, they were unable to overcome their Divsion I counterparts, falling 63-53 in Bowling Green.
The Storm were led by Riley Thomas' (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) 11 points and two steals. Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) recorded seven points and seven rebounds. Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds in his first game back from an injury that kept him out of the entire 2011-2 season. Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) also added six points and four steals.
The Falcons got on the board first but Garrick Sims quickly tied it up at two. The Storm took their first lead at 5-4 following a Sims free throw but Jordan Crawford answered with a three-pointer for Bowling Green as they regained the advantage at 7-5. The back and forth play continued as a pair of Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) free throws tied it at seven, and a Rich Austin lay-up made it 9-7. The teams traded points throughout the first 10 minutes, with Bowling Green finding themselves up 19-17 with 9:32 to play in the first half. The Falcons were able to break the game open when Crawford hit a pair of threes to lead Bowling Green into the half with a 31-23 advantage.
Jamil Dudley led the Storm with six first-half points and four steals. Austin was 2-2 shooting in the half.
The Storm scored the first four points of the second half, as Sims and Riley Thomas connected on shots to cut the Bowling Green lead to 31-27, but the Falcons responded with five unanswered points to increase the lead to 36-27. The Falcons continued to increase their lead, gaining a 13 point advantage before Parker hit the first Storm three-pointer and Sims connected on a short jumper to come within seven with 14 minutes left to play. Once again, Crawford brought the Falcons back, increasing their lead to 52-42 with 7:22 left in the half. While the Storm kept the game close throughout the rest of the second half, they were unable to overcome the Bowling Green lead, falling 63-53.
The Falcons were led in scoring by Crawford, who tallied 22 points and went 3-6 from beyond the arc. He also led the team with four assists. Chauncey Orr and A'uston Calhoun grabbed seven rebounds apiece, while Richaun Holmes contributed eight points.
The Storm outshot the Falcon .404 to .328 but were hampered by 19 turnovers. Bowling Green out rebounded Lake Erie 44-35.
The Storm open their 2012-13 regular season schedule at home against NAIA school Point Park University (2-0) on Wednesday (Nov. 14) in the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and werllness Center. Tipoff is at 7:30 pm.