PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College (7-5, 2-3 GLIAC) never trailed en route to its second straight GLIAC win, 71-57, over Ohio Dominican University (3-10, 0-8 GLIAC) at Alumni Hall in Columbus, Ohio.
The Storm has now two straight games overall and four of their last five contests.
Lake Erie was led by sophomore guard Riley Thomas (Cardington, Ohio/Cardington-Lincoln) with 16 points on six-of-nine shooting. Guard play was the key to the win for the Storm as 56 of their 71 points came from the backcourt. Senior Brandon Smith (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford/Cuyahoga Community College) added 11 points while sophomore Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus) came off the bench to score 10. Morgan Jones had a game-high 20 points for the Panthers.
Lake Erie shot a season-high 59.2% (29-of-49) from the field while ODU went 23-of-49 (46.9%).
Sophomore center Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) scored the game's opening bucket as the contest stayed close in the early going. ODU tied the score at 12-12 nine minutes in before a Tait jumper and a three-pointer by redshirt freshman guard Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) gave the Storm a 17-12 advantage. A key stretch occurred over the final 5:30 of the half as Lake Erie's defense locked down and held the Panthers to just two points. Smith scored the final five points of the half as the Storm took a 33-24 lead to intermission.
Lake Erie's lead extended to double-digits for the first time with 15:53 to play on a Thomas layup. The Panthers answered with a layup but the Storm put their lead into double digits for good with a Smith layup to make the score 41-31 with 14:37 to go. The Green and White kept their foot on the petal as the lead reached 20 points at 9:09 after a layup by junior center Jordan Baker (Erie, Pa./McDowell) and reached a game-high 22 points at 4:42 when a Tait three-pointer made the score 64-42. ODU went on a 13-2 run to cut the deficit in half with 1:24 to play but Lake Erie scored the next five points to put the game away for good.
The Storm return to the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center for four straight games, beginning Thursday when they face No. 17 University of Findlay at 8:00 p.m.