PAINESVILLE, Ohio— The Lake Erie College men's basketball team concluded their 2014-15 season with a thrilling 63-62 overtime victory over Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) South Division leader Ashland University Thursday (Feb. 26) in Painesville.
The win marked the fourth straight by the Storm and second close victory over the Eagles this season.
Steve Walczak (Columbus, Ohio/Olentangy) opened the game by scoring four straight points. The Eagles went on a 6-0 run to take the lead. Walczak continued to play well early on, tying the game at six with a lay-up. After a media timeout, Nick Deitsch (Lewis Center, Ohio/Orange) hit a jumper in the paint to give the Storm a two point lead. Collin Barth (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) extended the Storm lead to five with a three-pointer. The teams went back-and-forth for the next several minutes, with the Storm maintaining their lead, 15-12, with eight minutes to play in the half. The Eagles cut the lead to one with a pair of free-throws following the second media timeout. They took lead a minute later with a three-pointer. The lead grew to five in the final five minutes of the half. Down the stretch, the Eagles led by as much as 10 as they took a 29-19 lead into the half.
Walczak led the Storm with seven points and four rebounds in the opening half. Jamil Dudley (Massillon, Ohio/Massillon) had four points while Barth had three. Roy Alexander (Columbus, Ohio/Walnut Ridge) had three assists.
Andy Bosley (Columbus, Ohio/Orange) opened the second half with four straight points to cut the lead to six. The Eagles got their lead back to nine, which brought about a Storm timeout. After the timeout, the Storm cut the lead to six on a Bosley three. The Eagles lead slowly crept back up to ten but another three by Bosley brought the lead down to single digits. Dudley hit a three on the Storm's following possession to cut the Ashland advantage to four with nine minutes to play. After a timeout, Dudley hit his second three to bring the lead down to one. Sean Howard (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) hit the Storm's third straight three to give the Storm a 44-42 lead. The Eagles tied it up at the other end. After a Storm miss, the Eagles took a two point lead. Bosley hit his third three to put the Storm back in front. The Eagles once again responded with a basket to gain a one point edge with four minutes to play.
A pair of free-throws gave the Eagles a three-point lead but Howard matched it with a lay-up to bring the lead to one. Trey Howard (Lima, Ohio/Lima Shawnee) then stole the ball and hit a fast break lay-up to give the Storm the lead. He followed up the lay-up by hitting a three to extend the lead to four. Ashland tied the game back up with a 4-0 run.
The Storm possessed the ball with the shot clock off with 30 seconds to go but were unable to hit a shot as the game went into overtime.
Ashland struck first in overtime with a three-pointer. Bosley answered with a dunk to cut the lead to one but the Eagles hit their second three of the extra session to increase their lead to four. Dudley cut the lead to one with a three. After a timeout by Ashland, Sean Howard was sent to the foul line, hitting both chances to give the Storm the 61-60 lead. The Eagles responded with a basket with 40 seconds left. Sean Howard answered with a deep two-pointer to give the Storm a one point lead once again. The Storm defense made the stop on the other end to seal the win.
Bosley led the Storm with 15 points- all of which came in the second half and overtime. He also grabbed five rebounds. In his final game, Dudley had thirteen points, four rebounds and two assists. He hit five-of-10 shots from the floor. Sean Howard had 11 points to go with his four rebounds and three assists. Walczak finished with seven points and a team-high seven rebounds. Alexander had five points and five rebounds while sharing the team-high in assists with three. Trey Howard also had five points to go with four rebounds, a team-high three steals and two assists. Barth and Deitsch combined for five points. Nick Wells (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) had five rebounds.
The Storm shot 39.7% for the game but hit 13-of-28 (46.4%) shots in the second half and all three attempts in overtime.
For the season, the Storm won a program high nine GLIAC games. The 12 overall victories marks the most for the Storm since joining NCAA Division-II.