PAINESVILLE, Ohio - Junior point guard Antonio Kidd's bucket
with 0.7 seconds left gave the Lake Erie men's basketball team a
68-66 win over Ohio Dominican at the Jerome T. Osborne Family
Athletic & Wellness Center on Saturday (Jan. 30) evening.
The Panthers' John Trew hit a shot from the top of the key with 13 seconds left to tie the game and, with no timeout coming from the Storm bench, Kidd (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) dribbled the ball at the top before driving to the left side and hitting a 12-foot jumper from the wing.
"I could envision myself making it," Kidd said. "Ethan [Bradshaw] and Darnell [Campbell] kept the game close, but I wanted the ball in my hands."
Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) had a team-high 18 points, while Campbell (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) chipped in 11 of his 16 points in the second half to go with five rebounds.
The win snapped a three-game losing streak for the Storm (7-15), which was also playing at home for the first time since Jan. 4. Lake Erie is now 5-3 at the Osborne Center.
The game was tight throughout and featured nine lead changes and 10 ties. Neither team led by more than seven points in the game.
For the Storm - which has lost three games this season by two points, including Monday's 79-77 loss at Davis & Elkins and two others to ranked opponents - the dramatic win showed they can win a tight game.
"It's a relief," said Storm head coach Cliff Hunt. "We've got a young team and they're learning how to win in these situations."
"It's wonderful being in those close games and finally getting the win," Kidd said.
The lead changed hands six times with six ties in the first half and neither team led by more than six points. The Storm took its largest lead of the first half, 19-14, with eight minutes left after Kidd converted a three-point play. ODU's 5-0 run tied the game before Campbell came up with a vicious, two-handed slam off an offensive rebound that got the Storm's largest crowd of the season off its feet.
The Panthers (8-14) responded with an 8-0 run to take a 27-21 lead with four minutes left in the first half. Ohio Dominican eventually led 33-29 at halftime.
"Neither team was able to establish themselves in the game," Hunt said. "We didn't get the ball inside like we wanted to."
The Storm was finally able to find its footing in the second
half, going on a 19-8 run in the first nine minutes after the
intermission and building a 48-41 lead.
Lake Erie maintained the lead, but could not pull away from Trew and the Panthers. Trew had all of his 19 points in the second half, including 18 of his team's last 19 points.
"We contained him in the first half, but in the last few minutes, he hit everything," Hunt said.
Bradshaw's free-throws with 45 seconds left gave the Storm a 66-61 lead, but Trew knocked down a three-pointer on the other end to trim the Storm lead to two.
With the shot clock off, the Panthers were forced to foul, but Kidd missed the front end of the one-and-one and Trew dropped another jumper to tie the score.
Kidd calmly brought the ball up the floor and nailed his game-winner. Hunt said his team is prepared for those situations and knows what to run.
"It was a great shot," Hunt said. "That was some redemption for him after he missed the one-and-one. To make that shot, its redemption."
"That's basketball," added Kidd. "You have to brush off the mistakes and go out and perform."
The Storm allowed the Panthers to shoot 56 percent (14-for-25) in the first half, but limited them to just 36 percent (13-for-36) in the second half.
Meanwhile, Lake Erie hit on 56 percent (15-for-27) from the floor in the second half. It was just the second win for the Storm when trailing at halftime.
Lake Erie got solid minutes from its three freshmen, as well, as Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton), Eric Worthey (South Euclid, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy) and Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia) combined for 20 points and 13 rebounds.
"We're surprised at how much they're playing," Hunt said. "All of them have started for us at some time. It's tremendous for our freshmen to get this experience."
And with experience like they earned on Saturday, the future looks pretty bright.