PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Freshman guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) scored a career-high 20 points, hitting six three-pointers, but the Lake Erie College men's basketball team scored just seven points over the final 11 minutes in a 62-57 loss to Lake Superior State University Thursday night (Jan. 20) in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.
Coming off its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory on Saturday, the Storm (5-10, 1-7 GLIAC) led 50-45 with 11:14 remaining on a jumper by sophomore Alex Davis (Macedonia, Ohio/Nordonia). But Lake Erie went just two-of-12 from the field the rest of the way, including an 8:51 scoreless drought.
The Storm trailed by just three at 60-57 in the final 30 seconds, by could not convert on the offensive end and a pair of Derek Kinney free throws with 17 seconds left allowed the host Lakers (11-5, 5-4 GLIAC) closed out their third straight win.
Lake Erie led by six early in the game, but the Lakers closed the first half with a late surge that had them take a 32-27 lead into halftime.
Thomas got the hot hand early in the second half as the Storm charged back to take the lead, but after the jumper by Davis, the entire team went cold. Lake Superior State, meanwhile, went on a 13-0 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 58-50with 2:45 to go.
It was a three by Thomas at the 2:33 mark that broke the Storm's scoreless streak.
Thomas was six-of-11 from three-point range and was the only Storm player in double figures and added five assists. Davis finished with nine points. As a team, Lake Erie shot just 38.6 percent (22-of-57).
Lake Superior State hit on better than 50% of its shot, going 22-of-43 (51.2%) and went 14-of-23 from the foul line compared to just five-of-eight for the Storm. Kyle Hunt led all scorers with 22 points, Justin Williams added 15 and Kinney chipped in with 10. Hunt and Kinney each grabbed seven rebounds.
The Storm wraps up its four-game road trip Saturday, Jan. 22, with a GLIAC inter-divisional game at Saginaw Valley State University.