Championship is Sweeter the Second Time AroundThe Lake Erie College men's basketball team is not only the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) regular season champions for the second consecutive season, but with Saturday's 59-58 win against Penn State-Behrend, the Storm now hold the AMCC Tournament title for the second straight season. The 25-2 Lake Erie squad took the championship by storm after a 3-pointer by senior Rob Williams (Richmond Heights, Ohio/Richmond Heights) with 4.7 seconds remaining gave LEC the one-point lead, that would eventually earn them the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Lake Erie struggled in the first half, shooting 27-percent from the field after making only seven field goals and turning the ball over 10 times. No player had more than five points as LEC was down by nine at the break, 27-18. Behrend was the only league team to defeat Lake Erie during the regular season, and after the first 20 minutes of play, looked as if they could do it again.
The second half saw Lake Erie trail by as many as 11 with less than eight minutes to play and it wasn't until the one-minute mark when a 3-pointer by sophomore John Dickinson (Euclid, Ohio, Euclid) brought the Storm to within two, 58-56. A missed bucket by the Lions on the opposite end was rebounded by Williams with 29 seconds to go. The co-captain took control of the offense utilizing the clock to Lake Erie's advantage and then hit the game winner from the right wing with less than five seconds on the clock.
Several timeouts later, Behrend dribbled the ball up the sideline where Lake Erie's Howard Washington (Akron, Ohio/North) tapped the ball out of bounds with 1.7 seconds remaining. The Lions inbounded the ball and their three-point attempt at the buzzer fell short.
Williams and sophomore Derrick Thornton (University Heights, Ohio/Lutheran East) led LEC with 19 points apiece. They combined for 31 of the team's 41 second-half points. Thornton also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Dickinson added 10 points and Washington had a game-leading five steals.