Lakers hold off Cincinnati State's Surge to win 80-79
BY TIMOTHY W. SHRIER SPORTS EDITOR (KIRTLAND, OH) - Recently the Lakeland Lakers men's basketball team has fallen out of the top 25 in the rankings, an unfamiliar spot for the program led by tenth year coach Terry Bowe. On Saturday afternoon at Lakeland Community College they hosted the 13th ranked Cincinnati State Surge. Games between the two teams are always a battle, Saturday's game was no exception as the two teams battled for 40 minutes and the Lakers held on for the 80-79 win.
The Surge had an early 10-4 lead, the Lakers then took the lead 11-10 and then 13-10 on a dunk by sophomore Richard Smith with 15:25 left in the first half. The dunk by Smith was the first points by a Laker other than sophomore Charles Oliver who scored the first 11 points for Lakeland.
With 10:30 left in the first half Cincinnati State regained the lead on a layup by freshman Kevin Marshall to give the Surge the 25-24 lead. It only took 30 second for the Lakers to regain the lead 27-25 when sophomore Deran Banton deposited a layup in the basket and was fouled. Banton then converted the free throw to give the Lakers the two point lead. The Surge came right back on a jump shot by freshamn Devonte Smth to tie the game at 27-27 with 9:48 in the game.
Just 19 second later the Lakers regained the lead at 29-27 on a jump shot by Banton and never trailed again, taking a 46-41 into the locker room at half time.
The Lakers had three scorers in double figures at half time with Olver leading all scorers with 15 points. Sophomore Daishon Robinson had 11 for the Lakers and Banton had 10 points at the break for Lakeland. Smith had 10 points after the first 20 minutes for the Surge.
The Lakers shot a hot 56% in the first half while the Surge shot only 44% mostly due to the stifling defense by Lakeland.
Defensively the Lakers were just as tough in the second half allowing the Surge to shoot only 40%. The Lakers shooting percentage dropped off sharply in the second half also as they shot only 42% in the second 20 minutes of play.
The Surge pulled to within two points with 5:16 left in the second half when freshman Winstron Grays put in a layup to pull Cincinnati State to 70-68. The Surge couldn't get any closer until there was 2.4 second left in the game and freshman O'Brien Hobbs hit a three point basket to close the score to 80-79 in favor of Lakeland. The Surge immediately fouled Robinson of the Lakers. Robinson missed both foul shots and the clock ran out giving the Lakers the 80-79 win.
Foul shooting was a major issue in the game for the Lakers. The game could have had a much larger margin if the Lakers were able to convert foul shots. Lakeland shot only 7 of 21 in the second half from the free throw line and 13 for 28 in the game for 46%. The Surge was even worse in the game from the charity strip as they went only 4 for 12 for a miserable 33%.
Oliver lead all scorers in the game with 22 points. Banton also had 21 for the Lakers in the win. Devonte Smith led the Surge in scoring in the loss with 18 points. Lakeland's Richard Smith lead all rebounders with 12 boards.
With the win the Lakers improve to 10-4 and 1-0 in the OCCAC. The win also gives the Lakers a good shot at moving back into the top 25 in the rankings.
The Lakers will be in action next on Thursday at Columbus State Community College in Columbus at 7:30 p.m..
Tough day for Lady Lakers The Lady Lakers also played the Cincinati State Surge women's team prior to the men's game. The Lady Lakers held their own through the first ten minutes of the contest trailing only 25-24, but it was all Suge after that as they outscored the Lakers 73-26 the rest of the way to complete the 98-50 thrashing.
Cincinnati State sophomore Samantha Paratore led all scorers in the game with 17 points. The Surge had five players in double figures. Eastlake North graduate, freshman Kelly Flanigan led the Lakers with 13 points in the loss.