CANTON, Ohio - It took the Lake Superior State men's basketball team 12 minutes to work its way back from a nine-point deficit during Thursday's game at Malone. Once the Lakers evened the score at 66-66, the were able to win the final four minutes and secure an 81-77 victory.
Lake Superior State's Tony Harris made a layup with 1:44 remaining and had a steal during the Pioneers' next possession that led to an Alex Williams' three-pointer and a 74-69 LSSU lead.
Cameron Metz answered two Malone free throws with a dunk with 35 seconds remaining. Malone's Isiah Elliott made a three-pointer that was followed by two free throws by Harris for a 78-74 Laker lead. Derek Billing and Jake Blake were a combined 3-for-4 at the free-throw line during the final 10 seconds, protecting the Lakers' slim lead.
Williams scored a season-high 26 points and added nine rebounds to lead LSSU (8-1 overall, 2-1 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). Metz finished with 19 points and six rebounds, and Billing scored 16 points.
LSSU shot 51 percent from the field, including 8-of-18 from three-point range. The Lakers made 21-of-25 free throws and out-rebounded Malone, 31-24.
Elliott led all scorers with 27 points and Cory Veldhuizen added 26. Malone (3-3 overall, 1-2 GLIAC) shot 50.9 percent from the field, including 9-of-19 from behind the arc, and made 12-of-18 free throws.
LSSU led 36-33 at halftime, but fell behind 49-40 with 16:03 remaining in the game. Metz scored 15 second-half points, followed by Williams with 12 and Billing with nine.
LSSU plays at Walsh at 3 p.m. Saturday.