PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was in action today as they opened the 2017-18 home campaign with a matchup against the Tiffin University Dragons.
Lake Erie defeated the Dragons 83-71 in a G-MAC/GLIAC Challenge matchup at the Osborne Center.
Tiffin started the game with a 5-2 lead two minutes into the game. Lake Erie answered with a 7-0 run that spanned two minutes, including baskets by Erron James (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville Central) and Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) and a three pointer from Brogan Scott (Wadsworth, Ohio / Highland). Tiffin used two free throws to cut the lead to two before Jordan Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) drilled a three pointer for a five point lead at 12-7. With 12:25 left in the half, David Dunnigan (Cleveland, Ohio / Padua) converted a three point play as Lake Erie maintained a 19-12 lead. Over the next four and a half minutes, Lake Erie pulled away with a 13-4 run that created a 15 point advantage. Ryan Middendorf (West Chester, Ohio / Lakota East) made two three pointers as five different players scored on the run. Tiffin cut the lead to 12 twice but Humphrey answered both times with a layup and three pointer, respectively. Lake Erie scored the final three points of the half as they led 42-26 at halftime.
Humphrey had ten points in the first half including two three pointers. Middendorf, Mitch Loomis (Malvern, Ohio / Malvern) and Dunnigan each had six points in the period.
Lamont Rhodes (Bedford, Ohio / Bedford) opened the second half with a dunk and a tip-in as he scored four straight points, giving the Storm a 46-26 lead one minute in. Tiffin rallied to cut the lead to ten with a 14-4 run over a three minute period. The Dragons pulled within eight points until Harrison Riggs (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) and James made two straight layups. Lake Erie led 57-45 at the ten minute mark. The Dragons pulled within six points with eight minutes to go with six straight points. Following the run, Lake Erie solidified the lead with a 12-3 run that covered five minutes. Middendorf had two three pointers while Loomis had two baskets during the run that established a 69-54 lead with 3:44 left. Tiffin slimmed the advantage to five with a 13-3 run over a two minute span. Lake Erie led 72-67 with 1:28 left. The Storm converted nine of 12 free throws down the stretch and Middendorf capped the game with a dunk off of a block in the final seconds.
Middendorf led the Storm with 15 points, including four three pointers along with two blocks. Scott had 12 points with seven total rebounds, four on the offensive glass. Humphrey, Kynard and Loomis had ten points each. Loomis had 11 rebounds for a double-double with three steals and three blocks.
Head Coach Kyle Conley said "Loomis provided tremendous energy and Middendorf is a very capable scorer. We like what we have with them on our second line. After a poor defensive effort Friday, we are committed to playing an attacking style of defense, and were pleased with the improvement we saw today".
Lake Erie will return to the hardwood Tuesday (Nov. 14) when they host Point Park University with the game set to tip off at 7 p.m.