SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - Paced by 20 points and 10 assists from junior guard Akaemji Williams, Lake Superior State picked up their third straight win over a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent with an 84-54 blowout against Lake Erie.
Williams (Pontiac, Mich.) was honored prior to the contest for picking up his 1,000th career point last Saturday during a road victory at Findlay. The 215 fans on hand that braved the winter storm also honored Jim Cooper, a member of the 1955-56 men's basketball team inducted into the LSSU Athletics Hall of Fame and brother of legendary Director of Athletics Bud Cooper, with a moment of silence prior to the game.
The Lakers (5-2, 3-1 GLIAC) scored their first basket 15 seconds into the contest with a layup by Michael Nicholson, assisted by Williams, and never looked back. LSSU built a 17-3 through eight minutes of play and eventually led by as 24 points with 31 seconds remaining following a layup by Williams for his 13th point of the opening half.
The Storm would cut the lead with a pair of baskets in the final 10 seconds before of the half to go into the locker room trailing 41-21.
Sophomore forward Blake Marquardt added 12 of his 15 total points during the first half by knocking down 4-of-5 shots from behind the arc.
The second half opened with a thunderous dunk by Nicholson, again assisted by Williams. Nicholson scored nine of his 16 points during the second half and tallied his second double-double on the season with 12 rebounds (five offensive).
Lake Erie would cut the Lakers lead to just 17 points with 11:05 remaining in regulation, but that was as close as they would get to LSSU as the Lakers closed out the contest on a 30-17 run.
With his game-high 20 points, Williams moved up three spots to 38th all-time in LSSU scoring history with 1,032. It was also the fourth time this season the nation's leader in assists per game logged a double-double with at least 10 assists.
Sean Howard led the Storm with 14 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor and was the only LEC player to reach double digits in scoring as the Lakers held their opponents to a season-low scoring output.
LSSU returns to action on Saturday, hosting Walsh at 3 p.m. The Lakers also welcome cross-river rivals Algoma on Monday (Dec. 19) at 5 p.m.