DETROIT, Mich. – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team dropped its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opener to Wayne State, 71-60.
After the Warriors opened the scoring in the first minute of the game the Storm responded to take an 8-4 lead with a little over 17 minutes remaining in the first half. Wayne State quickly tied the game at eight points apiece with less than 16 minutes remaining in the first half, before Ennis Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South) hit a three pointer to regain the lead for the Storm. The Warriors opened up a 6-0 run that saw them regain a 14-11 advantage before Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) halted the run with layup for Lake Erie. The Storm answered the Warriors with an 11-0 run that was sparked by a pair of Ryan Middendorf (West Chester, Ohio / Lakota East) three pointers, to give the Strom a 23-16 advantage with a little over eight minutes remaining in the half. A pair of baskets by the Warriors cut the Storm lead to five, and forced a 30 second timeout by Lake Erie with 6:44 minutes remaining in the half. After the timeout, the Storm's lead swelled to 31-21 behind strong play from Sean Howard (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence North) as she hit a pair of foul shots and a three pointer for the Storm. After a defensive struggle for the final three minutes of the half, Lake Erie took a 32-21 advantage into the break.
The Storm played lockdown defensive to end the first half as they held the Warriors without a point for the final four minutes of the half. Lake Erie shot a stellar 62.5 percent from behind the arc in the first half, while holding Wayne State without a three pointer on eight attempts. Nick Wells (Akron, Ohio / St. Vincent-St. Mary) and Kynard led the way for the Storm as they each tallied seven points in the half.
The Storm came out of the locker room ready to play as they scored five unanswered points to take a 16 point, 37-21 advantage early in the second half. After three minutes of back and forth action the Warriors went on a 7-0 run that cut the Storm lead to single digits, and forced Lake Erie to take a 30 second timeout with just over 15 minutes remaining in the game. After the timeout the Warriors took a 48-46 lead with a 7-0 run, which forced a Storm timeout with 11 minutes remaining in the game. After the timeout, Lake Erie tied the game on two separate occasions, but the Storm trailed 58-54 with just under six minutes remaining in the game. The Warriors continued their strong second half play for the remainder of the game and won, 71-60.
The Storm was led by Wells as he scored 11 points on over 57 percent shooting from the field. Howard led the way with six rebounds and a pair of assists while also scoring nine points. Middendorf gave the Storm a spark off the bench as he scored eight points and shot 50 percent from behind the arc.
Lake Erie will return to the hardwood Saturday (Dec. 3) when they travel to take on Saginaw Valley State with the game set to tip at 3 p.m.