Men's Basketball Season Ends
Loss to John Carroll in tournament
PAINESVILLE, OH. (March 3, 2007) - The record-breaking season of the Lake Erie College men's basketball team came to a heartbreaking conclusion in the NCAA Division III Championship Second Round as John Carroll University edged its hosts 79-77 in the final seconds for the right to advance to the sectional portion of the national tournament March 9-10.
The Athletic Center Arena in Painesville, Ohio played host to the biggest game ever played in Storm basketball history as a sellout crowd of 750 attended the event.
Lake Erie (25-3) got out to a 4-0 run against the Blue Streaks (21-9) who were making their 10th national appearance this season. In only their second bid to the dance, the Storm controlled the tempo for much of the first half,allowing John Carroll to hold a lead for just five minutes in the period. The Blue Streaks led by only five points before LEC regained the lead at the six-minute mark. The Storm.shot 53-percent from the field in the 20-minute period and held a 10-point lead at the break, 45-35.
The second half was led by Lake Erie until the crucial final minute of the game when a three-pointer from the wing by senior Terry Walsh (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius) gave the Blue Streaks their first lead of the half at 77-75 with 29.9 seconds remaining. Lake Erie inbounded the ball to sophomore forward Derrick Thornton (University Heights, Ohio/Lutheran East) who dribbled the ball to midcourt before passing to senior Rob Williams (Richmond Heights, Ohio/Richmond Heights). Williams drove the lane where his attempted handoff to Thornton was deflected out of bounds with 13 seconds on the clock.
On the out of bounds play, Williams hit senior Howard Washington (Akron, Ohio/North) on the block for a surprisingly open shot that rolled over the rim and into the hands of JCU senior Brandon Mimes (Euclid, Ohio/Euclid). Lake Erie fouled with 9.3 seconds to go. Mimes went to the line in the double bonus and swished two to make the score 79-75.
With the ball in Williams' hands, the floor general, who served as the team's savior one-week earlier with a last second 3-pointer to earn the Storm the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Championship, dribbled the length of the floor and shot a jumper from the wing. His attempt hit off the front of the rim and bounced back into his hands where he made the putback with one second left. LEC trailed 79-77.
John Carroll inbounded the ball in the corner as the second clicked away and gave the Blue Streaks their sixth win in as many chances against the Storm.
Thornton led LEC with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Williams added 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Sophomore John Dickinson (Euclid, Ohio/Euclid) scored 15 and Washington chipped in 10 in the final game of his career.
Mimes led all scorers with 27 on John Carroll's behalf. Walsh added 19.