(NORTH CANTON, Ohio) - Walsh (5-2, 2-2) dropped its second straight home game, falling 68-65 to Lake Superior State University (9-1, 3-1) in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game today. The Cavs return to action on Friday, when they host Ohio Christian University at 7 pm. Friday's game will be broadcast live on WNPQ FM, 95.9.
Both teams shot well in the first half, as Lake Superior took a 39-38 lead into the locker room. LSSU shot 54% and Walsh 55% in the first half. The first half alone produced 10 ties and 6 lead changes.
Walsh scored the first six points of the second half, and took their largest lead of the game at 45-39 with 17:27 to play. The Lakers would regroup and tie the game at 49-all with 12:58 to play, in what would be the final tie score of the night.
LSSU took a five-point lead at 54-49 with 9:42 to play, when Walsh rallied and took their final lead of the game at 55-54 with 7:29 to play on a Jeff Copeland (6-5, Jr., Toledo, OH/St. John's Jesuit) jumper.
The Lakers would then go on an 8-0 run to take control at 63-55 with 5:14 left.
Walsh would cut the lead to three points at 63-60, and 66-63, and then to one-point at 66-65 on two Jesse Hardin (6-1, So., Warren, OH/Harding) free throws with 16 seconds to play.
The Lakers, who struggled from the line the entire game, then got two big free throws from Jake Blake to take a 68-65 lead with 11 seconds left. The Lakers opted to foul, to keep Walsh from launching a game-tying three with nine seconds to play which sent Brad DuPont (6-0, Sr., Massillon, OH/Jackson/Wheeling Jesuit) to the line. DuPont missed, and Walsh came away with the rebound but missed three's from Zac Carter (5-9, Fr., Ironton, OH/HS) and Copeland as time expired.
The Cavs shot just 28% (8-29) in the second half, and finished at 39% (20-51) from the field for the game. They did shoot a healthy 86% from the line on 18-21. Hardin led Walsh with 21 points and had 8 rebounds. Copeland, Hrvoje Vucic (7-1, Sr., Split, Croatia/Faust Vrancic/Valparaiso) and Chall Montgomery (6-4, So., Cleveland, OH/Central Catholic/Naval Academy) each added 10 points. Copeland also had 8 rebounds.
The Lakers' Derek Billing led all scorers with 23 points. Alex Williams and Cameron Metz each added 11.
The back-to-back home losses are a first for the Cavs in the new Alumni Arena. The last time the Cavs dropped back-to-back home games was during the 2003-04 season, when they lost to Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Ohio Dominican University.