Lake Erie Pushes Past Pioneers in Home Opener

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (November 22, 2008) - Playing its first of just eight games this season in Athletic Center Arena, Lake Erie College defeated Malone University, 70-60 Saturday night. The Storm took a 2-0 lead after sophomore Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow) sunk two free throws in the team's opening possession, but Malone connected on a 3-pointer on the opposite end of the floor to go ahead by one. The Pioneers then outscored Lake Erie 15-10 in the ensuing nine minutes, holding a five-point lead the majority of the way. Lake Erie continued to lag behind until just under the five-minute mark when it tied the game at 22 after a steal by Wagers and a layup by sophomore guard Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford). The Pioneers added only two free throws in the final five minutes of the half, while Lake Erie exploded for 12 more points. The Storm's pressure caused seven turnovers in that time - three of which led to three-point field goals by sharpshooter Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls), leading to a 10-point Storm advantage at the half, 34-24.

After the break, Lake Erie kept control of the score for the entire second half, building as much as a 17-point lead with 10 minutes to play at 54-37. A cold shooting spell for Lake Erie and strong free throw shooting by Malone helped the visitors get back in the game, pulling to within three points with just four minutes remaining at 57-54. Lake Erie then created three Pioneer turnovers in the next two minutes to help lengthen its lead and finish the game as the victors for the first time this season.

Lake Erie had four players score in double figures, including Caiola with a season-high 17 points, freshman Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) with 13 points, Ames with 12 and Wagers with 10. Wagers pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while freshman point guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) added six points, seven rebounds, three assists and four steals. Ames also recorded a personal-best seven steals.

Lake Erie (1-3) is on the road for its next six games and will head to the University of Findlay on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.