(PAINESVILLE, Ohio) – Walsh rallied late to score an 85-76 victory over hosting Lake Erie in GLIAC action on Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers are now 11-10 overall, 9-8 in the GLIAC, and have a three-game lead on the third and final guaranteed playoffs spot in the South Division. The Storm falls to 8-15 overall and 5-12 in the conference.
Trey Fletcher (Jr., Ironton, Ohio/Ironton) had a spectacular game for the Cavs as he finished with a game-high 24 points and was 7-of-10 from the field. With his second basket of the game at 11:55 of the first half, he scored his 1,000th point of his collegiate career.
Fletcher is the 39th player to join Walsh's 1,000-point club and joins Jesse Hardin Jr (Sr., Warren, Ohio/Harding) who reached the mark in the first game of this season.
The game remained competitive for the duration as the teams combined for 17 lead changes and nine ties. Neither team held a lead larger than 10 points. That margin didn't occur until the final minute of the game.
With the Cavs down 66-63 with exactly five minutes left, Walsh went on a 22-10 run to close the game. Hardin Jr. put the Cavs up for good with a layup with 3:26 left in the game. On Lake Erie's return trip, Hardin Jr. stole the ball away from the Storm's Andy Bosley and went coast to coast to give the Cavs a 70-66 advantage.
Walsh added to its lead as Fletcher scored an old-fashioned 3-point play after a put-back after an offensive rebound in which he was fouled. Chall Montgomery (Sr., Cleveland, Ohio/Central Catholic/Navy) then gave the Cavs a 10-point lead with a trey with 1:05 left.
Hardin Jr. finished with 23 points as he was 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-11 from behind the arc. He added 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Montgomery and Zac Carter (Jr., Ironton, Ohio/Ironton) both added 13 points for the Cavs.
Lake Erie was paced by Sean Howard who scored 21 points on 7-of-14 from the field with 5-of-8 3-pointers made. The Storm made 13 3-pointers overall in the game.
The Cavaliers now get ready to head to Columbus to take on Ohio Dominican on Thursday. Tip-off with the Panthers is set for 7:30 p.m.