PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Redshirt freshman Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) had a breakout performance with a game- and career-high 24 points and sophomore center Rich Austin (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) added his second career double-double with 17 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to help lead Lake Erie College to a 75-54 victory over Ohio Dominican University in GLIAC action at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
The Storm moved to 8-12 overall and 3-10 in GLIAC play with the win, snapping a seven-game losing streak. ODU is now 3-18, 0-15 GLIAC, having dropped 10 straight. Lake Erie snapped the season series against the Panthers after defeating them in Columbus, Ohio, 71-57, on Jan. 7.
Dudley, whose previous career-high was 13 points, was six-for-six from the field with 16 points in the first half, scored his 24 points on eight-of-11 shooting in 23 minutes of action off the bench. Austin's previous career-high for rebounds was 12, set in a Nov. 15 win over Salem International in his only previous double-double.
Lake Erie sophomore guard Tom Parker (Cleveland, Ohio/St. Ignatius) hit a jumper to open the scoring 2:01 into the game but Ohio Dominican scored the next four points and held at least a share of the lead for the next six minutes. Dudley hit threes on two straight possessions to tie the score and then gave the Storm the lead 12-10 at 11:02 on a layup. Lake Erie would never trail again as the Dudley spurt started a 12-0 run to put the Storm up 19-10 at 6:18 after an Austin layup. Defense was huge in the run as Ohio Dominican was held scoreless for a 7:44 span and forced 13 turnovers in the first 16 minutes. Lake Erie went ahead by double digits for the first time at 22-12 at 5:01 on a Parker three and the lead never fell below 10 points again. Dudley's 16 first half points helped the Storm to a 32-20 lead at intermission.
Lake Erie still led by 12, 38-26 early in the second half when it went on a game clinching 11-2 run, with four free throws by senior guard Brandon Smith starting the spurt. Junior center Jordan Baker (Erie, Pa./McDowell), who had his best career game coming off the bench with seven points, five rebounds and three assists, made a jumper from Dudley to close the run and put Lake Erie ahead 49-28. The lead reached 23 at 53-30 on a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Nate Tait (South Euclid, Ohio/Brush/Alderson-Broaddus)at 11:33 and would eventually get to a game-high 25 with a Baker layup at 1:15. With the game out of hand late, redshirt freshman center Tyler Walters (Middlefield, Ohio/Cardinal) scored his first career points on a three-pointer to cap the afternoon for Lake Erie.
The Storm broke their shooting slump going 27-of-55 (49.1%) from the field and an impressive 14-of-15 (93.3%) from the line. The Panthers needed a late flurry to crack the 30% shooting mark, going 20-of-64 (31.3%) for the game.
Lake Erie returns to action Thursday as they travels to face GLIAC North foe Ferris State University at 8:00 p.m.