CANTON, Ohio-- The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was unable to overcome a second-half surge, falling to Malone University 71-57 Thursday night (Feb. 6) in Canton, Ohio.
After the Pioneers scored the first four points of the night, a three-pointer from Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) and a lay-up by Michael Morris (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) gave the Storm a 5-4 lead. Malone pushed ahead, gaining 13-9 lead before Colin Barth (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) scored six straight points in a 41 second stretch to put the Storm back atop, 15-13.
Trailing by two, Malone went on an 11-4 run, moving ahead 24-19. Sean Howard (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) scored four straight points, followed by a Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) lay-up to complete a 6-0 run and once again, give the Storm the lead. After the Pioneers broke up the Storm run, Thomas drained a three-pointer late in the half to give the Storm a 28-27 halftime lead.
Barth led the Storm with six first-half points while Parker and Thomas had five apiece. The Storm shot 40% (12-of-30) in the half and owned a 19-17 rebound advantage.
The teams traded baskets and leads to start the second-half. Ahead 37-35, the Malone went on a 15-7 run to take a ten point lead, the largest lead of the game. Garrick Sims (Barbeton, Ohio/Barberton) scored four straight for the Storm to breakup the Pioneers run and the cut the lead to six but Malone went on a 7-0 run regain control.
The Pioneers maintained their lead, going up by as much as 18, to wrap-up the win.
Thomas led the Storm with 12 points and a career-high seven rebounds. Sims was second on the Storm in scoring with 10 while Howard had nine. Morris and Barth had six points apiece. Roy Alexander (Columbus, Ohio/Walnut Ridge) had five points and five rebounds off the bench.
Lake Erie shot 40.4% (23-of-57) for the game but were just five-of-17 (29.4%) on three-pointers.
Christian Graves led Malone with 17 points while Isiah Elliot and Daniel Wise scored 16 and 15 respectively.
Malone shot 49.1% (27-of-55) for the game, including 42.1% (nine-of-21) on three-point attempts. The Pioneers owned a slight edge in rebounding, 32-30. The teams were even in turnovers.
The Storm is back in action Saturday (Feb. 8), heading to North Canton for a rematch with GLIAC South Division leader Walsh University.