PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Senior guard Ethan Bradshaw (Cincinnati, Ohio/Harmony Prep) put together one of the best performances in Lake Erie College (4-7) history with a career-high 40 points but it was not enough as the Storm fell, 82-78, in overtime at Urbana University (3-12).
Bradshaw's best work in the game came at the foul line, where he was 22-of-25 to set a Lake Erie record for free throws made in a game. The senior blew away the previous single-game high of 15, which Bradshaw had tied in Lake Erie's last matchup against Urbana on February 13, 2010.
Bradshaw, who came off the bench in this contest, also reached a career milestone as he became the 12th player in Lake Erie history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. The Cincinnati native's 40 points rank fifth on the Storm's single game list and are the highest output since Brandon Henderson's 44 points in February 2002.
Urbana's opening bucket of the game was its only lead of the first half as the Storm got off to a hot start which resulted in a 12-4 lead at 15:39 of the half after back-to-back Bradshaw three-pointers. The game remained tight in the half as Lake Erie's lead never expanded beyond eight points and Urbana got back to even at 23-23 with 2:13 to play in the first half. The Storm responded with the final eight points of the half, six of which came from Bradshaw, to take a 31-23 advantage to the locker room.
The Blue Knights started the second half strong and took their first lead since the opening seconds at 12:25 at 41-39 as three free throws by Ramel Mitchell over two possessions tied and then took the advantage. It was the first of 11 ties over the final 13 minutes as neither team would lead by more than five the rest of the way.
Coming down the final stretch Bradshaw carried the Storm on his back as he was the only player to score for the Green and White in a five minute stretch from 7:13-2:12, netting 14 points in that stretch, 10 of which came from the foul line. His score in the run, a tip in, knotted the score at 67-67 with 2:41 to go and Lake Erie took a 69-67 advantage when freshman forward Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) put home a layup with 2:12 to go. Two foul shots from Urbana tied the game yet again, but Bradshaw responded with an old-fashion three-point play at 00:53 to put the Storm on top, 72-69. Mitchell had the answer for the Blue Knights with a three-point play of his own with 20 seconds to play and freshman guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) saw his buzzer-beating shot attempt blocked to send the game to overtime.
Overtime picked up where regulation left off for Lake Erie as four Bradshaw free throws put Lake Erie ahead, 76-75, going into the final two minutes. Urbana's Anthony Gage tied the game by splitting a pair of free throws but sophomore forward Garrick Sims (Barberton, Ohio/Barberton) converted a layup to give the Green and White a 78-76 advantage with 53 seconds to play in the extra period.
A three-point play by Urbana's Sharif Muhammad was the game's key play as it put the Blue Knights ahead for good at 79-78, at 00:39 and after a critical Lake Erie turnover, Gage made a pair of free throws to give the Blue Knights a three point advantage. Bradshaw had one final chance to continue his magical night but missed on a potential game-tying three-point attempt with four seconds to play.
Sims reached double figures for Lake Erie with 12 points and added eight rebounds. Five Urbana players reached the double-digits, led by Gage with 18.
Overall there were eight lead changes and 16 ties. Urbana held considerable advantages in rebounding (46-33) and shooting percentage (46.0-36.8%) en route to victory.
The Storm returns to conference play on Saturday when they host Ohio Dominican in a GLIAC doubleheader, with the men's game first at 1:00 p.m.