ERIE, Pa. - Looking for a win in the consolation game of the 33rd Annual Gary Miller Classic at Gannon University, the Malone Pioneers got out to a big lead over the Lake Erie College Storm in the first half and never looked back.
Malone took third place in the Classic with an 83-71 win over the Storm, dropping the Storm to 0-6 on the season.
Lake Erie got in front early with a Nick Wells (Akron, Ohio / St. Vincent-St. Mary) layup as the first basket of the game. Malone answered with two more baskets before the Storm tied the game at four on a Jordan Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) layup. Over the four minutes, Malone pushed the lead to four twice but the Storm answered with two three pointers. After an Ennis Thomas (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) three ball made it 11-10 Malone, a 12-2 Pioneers run moved the lead to 11 with 11 minutes left in the half. A three point play by Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) pulled the Storm within eight but Malone pulled away to end the half. A 19-7 Malone run gave the Pioneers a 20 point lead at the intermission, 42-22.
Malone shot 51% from the floor, compared to Lake Erie shooting 36%. The Storm struggled from three as they shot 23% from beyond the arc.
Sean Howard led the Storm with six points in the first half, coming off of two three pointers.
Howard scored the first seven points of the second half as the Pioneers led by 18 with 18 minutes left in the game. With 14:59 left in the game, Howard nailed a jumper to pull the Storm within 14. Malone pushed the lead to a game-high 21 points, with an 8-1 run with ten minutes to go. Howard scored eight of the next 12 points as the Storm cut the deficit to 61-50 with 7:39 left. Malone got a little more cushion with a 16 point lead less than a minute later. Lake Erie hit four straight threes, coming within seven with 3:40 left in the ballgame. A 6-0 Malone run blew the lead to 13 with under two minutes left. A Ryan Middendorf (West Chester, Ohio / Lakota East) three ball with 38 seconds left made it an eight point cushion but Malone pulled back away for an 83-71 win.
Lake Erie shot 47% in the second half to end with a 42% shooting percentage. The Storm hit eight of 13 three pointers in the second half. Lake Erie converted 12 of 13 tries at the charity stripe in the game.
Howard scored 17 points in the second half, finishing with a season-high 23 points. The senior made nine free throws in the second half alone. Wells finished with 12 points and seven rebounds before fouling out in the game.
Howard was named to the All-Classic Team for his performance in the tournament.
Lake Erie will return home for a local matchup as they host Northeast Ohio rival Notre Dame College on Monday (Nov. 28).