Williams collects 1,000th career point as Lakers fend off Oilers 90-85

Photo Courtesy Kati Doty
Photo Courtesy Kati Doty

FINDLAY, Ohio - Lake Superior State fought back from a 13 point deficit in the first half to claim an eight point lead at halftime before holding on to a tight 90-85 road victory over Findlay on Saturday (Dec. 10) in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball action.

In the victory junior guard Akaemji Williams scored his 1,000th career point on a free throw with 6:01 remaining in the contest. Williams entered Saturday's game with 980 points as a Laker and finished with a team-high 32 points, his fifth game with at least 30 points this season.

The Pontiac native also added a game-high eight assists and has now tallied at least eight assists in every game for the Lakers (4-2, 2-1 GLIAC) this season.

The Oilers (5-3, 2-2 GLIAC) opened the contest with Martyce Kimbrough scoring 12 of the team's first 15 points. Kimbrough hit his 21st point of the game with a three pointer to put Findlay ahead 30-18 just over nine minutes into the game.   

The Lakers built a 50-42 lead at the half on a 32-to-12 run during the final 10 minutes on the strength of 17 points from both Williams and sophomore Blake Marquardt. Marquardt knocked down 5-of-7 from behind the arc and hit both of his two free throw attempts during the first half.

LSSU opened the second half on a 10-4 run and built their largest lead of the game with 10:05 remaining following a pair of Michael Nicholson free throws to goa ahead 72-54.

The Oilers responded with their own 8-0 run to trail by 10 with 6:59 remaining in regulation.

Taren Sullivan brought the Oilers to within five points of the Lakers with 3:31 left, but Williams answered on the other end with a three, just 19 seconds later. After Sullivan missed a three out of a thirty second timeout by the Lakers, following Williams' three-pointer, Sullivan missed a three on the other end and Nicholson put the Lakers up 83-73 with a layup on the other end. 

Kimbrough scored his game-leading 38th point of the night with a three pointer to cut the Lakers lead to 89-85 but Nicholson capped the victory hitting one-of-two free throws with one second remaining to seal the victory.

Nicholson collected his first double-double of the season for LSSU with 14 points and a game-high 18 rebounds. Marquardt finished with a career-high 28 points rounding out the LSSU players reaching double-digits.

LSSU returns home next week for a pair of GLIAC contests beginning with Lake Erie at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Dec. 15), followed by a Saturday (Dec. 17) matchup with Walsh at 3 p.m. The Lakers close the 2016 portion of their schedule on Monday, Dec. 19, with a nonconference game against cross-river rivals Algoma (CIS) at 5 p.m.