PAINESVILLE, Ohio- In the final non-conference matchup before the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule begins, the Lake Erie College men's basketball team got a stern test from local rival, the Notre Dame College Falcons.
The Falcons went wire-to-wire in an 84-73 win over the Storm, the seventh straight loss for the Green and the White.
Notre Dame took an early 3-0 lead before a Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) layup cut the lead to one. Nearly two minutes later, Nick Wells (Akron, Ohio / St. Vincent-St. Mary) made a layup, bringing the Storm within one at 5-4. The Falcons opened up a ten point lead with a 13-4 run for an 18-8 lead with 9:59 left in the first half. Ennis Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South) scored four points of a Lake Erie 9-0 run over the course of three minutes. Lake Erie pulled within one. The Falcons answered back with a 16-2 run, pushing the gap to 15 with three minutes left. By the end of the half, Notre Dame held a 44-24 lead over the Storm.
Lake Erie shot 31% from the floor in the first half but struggled from beyond the arc. The Storm made two of 15 long range threes. Thomas and Wells each had four points at the intermission.
In the first three minutes of the second half, Notre Dame expanded the lead to 27 points with a 10-3 run. With 11:03 left in the game, Thomas nailed a three, cutting the deficit to 17 at 61-44. The Falcons continued the offensive pressure, pushing the lead back to 21. The Storm made a run for the Falcons in the final seven minutes as a 20-7 Storm rush cut the lead to eight with one minute to go. The Falcons made some free throws down the stretch, sealing the non-conference by an 11 point win.
Mitch Loomis (Malvern, Ohio / Malvern) scored 18 of his career-high 20 points in the second half. Loomis scored 15 points in the final seven minutes. He was tied for the team-high in rebounds with nine, also a career-high.
Thomas ended the game with 12 points, scoring eight points in the second half. Kynard finished with ten points with a career-high nine rebounds.
The Storm shot 34% (26-76) from the floor in the game, a season-low.
Lake Erie will begin conference play in the GLIAC for the final time with a trip to Wayne State and Saginaw Valley State this week. Conference play begins on Thursday (Dec. 1).