SOUTH EUCLID, OHIO – Four players scored in double figures and the Lake Erie College men's basketball team hit a season-high 13 three-pointers to defeat host Notre Dame College 81-73 in the championship game of the NDC Comfort Inn Holiday Tournament Thursday afternoon (Dec. 30) at Murphy Gymnasium in South Euclid.
Junior forward Matt Grendel (Independence, Ohio/Independence) and senior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) each scored 16 points to lead the Storm (4-6), who won their second straight following a six-game losing streak.
Lake Erie scored the game's first five points and led by as many as eight during the first half before senior guard Antonio Kidd's (Cleveland, Ohio/Lakewood) jumper right before the halftime buzzer gave the Storm a nine-point lead at the break, 43-34.
The lead got into double digits early in the second half and was as big as 13. The Falcons (5-9) got within 49-45 with 14:28 left, but got no closer than that. Bradshaw hit a three to ignite an 8-0 run that pushed the lead back into double figures midway through the half.
A three-minute dry spell by Lake Erie allowed Notre Dame to creep within six with a minute and a half to go, but Grendel buried a three to with 56 seconds remaining to thwart the home team's comeback attempt.
Grendel went seven-of-10 from the field and his 16 points were a season high.
Bradshaw and freshman Justin Roth (Parma, Ohio/Parma Senior) each hit three three-ponters and three others hit at least two as the Storm went 13-of-25 from beyond the arc. Roth finished with a career-high 13 points while junior Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga C.C.) chipped in with 11.
Bradshaw reached double figures for the fourth straight game and ninth time in 10 games this season.
The Storm shot over 50% for the third time this year, connecting on 53.6% overall (30-of-56). The hot shooting from the field made up for an eight-of-20 showing at the free throw line. Lake Erie also committed just nine turnovers on the day.
Taylor Reiger led four Falcons in double figures with 13 points, but committed eight of NDC's 23 turnovers. Notre Dame shot 52% from the field, including seven-of-11 from deep, and went 16-of-19 from the line. The Falcons also had a decisive 34-23 edge on the boards.
Lake Erie opens the new year with a nonconference game at Urbana University on Thursday, Jan. 6.