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Lake County Sentinel
Storm comeback falls short in 76-74 loss to Eagles 

BY TIM SHIRER
SPORTS EDITOR
(PAINESVILLE, OH) - To say that the Lake Erie College Storm Men’s basketball team has struggled in 2016-17 would be an understatement. The very young team under first year head coach Kyle Conley has lately though started to gain a little traction. Their overall record is 3-15 (2-8 GLIAC), but in their last nine games they are 3-6. On Thursday night at home at the Osborne Center the Storm took on the Ashland University Eagles (10-6, 5-5 GLIAC) and looked like a team that is making solid improvement. In the end, Ashland was just a little better as they prevailed in a close game 76-74.

The first half was a battle. The game was close early, the Eagles eventually extended their lead to 23-14 with 9:12 remaining in the half. The Storm the fought back and went on a 15-4 run to take 29-28 lead on a Nick Wells 3-point basket with 4:28 left in the half. Points were a premium in the final minutes of the half as only eight were scored and the Eagles went into the locker room with a 34-32 lead.

Ashland’s Marsalis Hamilton led all scorers at the half with 10 points. Lake Erie’s Brogan Scott led the Storm with nine points in the half. The difference in the first half could have been turnovers as Ashland committed only four while the Storm turned it over eight times. The battle of the boards was close as Lake Erie led with 16 and Ashland pulled down 14 off the glass.

Lake Erie came out hot after the break outscoring the Eagles 6-0 in the first 1:10 of the second half to take a 38-34 lead. Lake Erie extended the lead to six points at 44-38 at the 16:34 mark on a 3-pt shot by Wells.

The Eagles wing not clipped yet though as they went on a run of their own and took a 50-44 lead with a 12-0 run at the 13:00 mark of the second half. Thing then once again tightened up and with 9:36 left the storm closed to within four at 54-50 on a layup by Brogan Scott. The Storm then closed to two points after a 3-pt shot by Gabe Kynard and then to one point on another 3-pt shot by Sean Hoard to make the score 57-56 with 8:22 mark. The Eagles struck right back with a 3-pt basket and a foul to extend their lead to 61-56. Lake Erie came right back with a 3-pt play to pull to within two points at 61-59 with just over seven minutes left in the contest.

With, Ashland up 63-61 Brogan Scott hit two free throws to close the lead to two points with 5:59 left. Then with 5:05 left in the game Mitch Loomis tipped in a Brogan Scott miss to tie the game 65-65. Over the next 1:52 the Eagles outscored the Storm 5-0 to take a 70-65 lead. The Storm then closed the gap to two points again when Scott hit a layup and was fouled, converted the shot to make the score 70-68 with 2:17 left. With 1:31 left in the game Jordan Humphrey was fouled but missed the first of the one and one for Lake Erie to keep the score 70-68. Ashland went right down the court for an easy two points, but Lake Erie struck back with a layup by Wells to cut the Eagles lead to two again. But it was too little too late as the Eagles took the ball down the floor with less than 30 second on the clock, missed a shot a but got the rebound forcing the Storm to foul. Boo Osborne made both foul shots to seal the game for the Eagles and make the score 74-70 with :11.8 remaining.

Lake Erie’s Sean Howard was the leading scorer in the game with 20 points in the losing effort. Osborne led the Eagles with 15 points. The Eagles had four players in double figures on the night, the Strom had three.

The Storm will be in action next on Saturday at the University of Findlay at 1:00 p.m.

 tshirer@lakecountysentinel.com or follow Tim on Twitter @IndiansTim
POSTED 01/19/2017 21:39
Photo by Tommy Shirer