Storm's Strong Offensive Performance in First Half Almost Leads to Win

PAINESVILLE, Ohio (December 20, 2008) - Lake Erie College certainly didn't look like the same team that took on Gannon University two weeks ago, this time leading for much of the game before finally falling in the end, 74-64. The Storm, who lost in Erie, Pa. on Dec. 6, 104-64 may have been taken a bit lightly by the Golden Knights, but it was also a strong offensive showing in the first half that helped lift Lake Erie into the lead.

The Storm went behind 4-0 to start the contest before a bucket by senior guard Danielle Ruggieri (Mayfield, Ohio/Mayfield) and a 3-pointer by freshman Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) put the Storm on top 5-4 at 17:30. The lead changed back and forth for the next several possessions and then with the scored tied at 16 just under the 12-minute mark, Lake Erie mounted an 18-5 scoring run in which it went 6-for-7 from the field with a trio of treys. The Storm's lead of 13 at that point, was the largest of the game, but didn't last long as Gannon chipped away the rest of the half to allow Lake Erie only a seven-point advantage at the break, 41-34.

For the half, the Storm shot 54-percent from the field (15-for-28) and a season-high 50-percent from three-point territory (7-for-14). Gannon checked in at 36-percent from the field (12-for-33) and 17-percent from behind the arc (2-for-12).

The second period began with Gannon scoring seven unanswered points to tie the score at 41. Lake Erie responded with 3-pointers by Caiola and sophomore guard Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) to go back up by six. That would be the largest lead of the half for the green and white as Gannon powered past the Storm the rest of the contest, reversing the scoring trends from the first half. Gannon shot 48-percent from the field and 45-percent from the arc, while Lake Erie shot just 30-percent from the floor and 27-percent from the arc in the second half.

For the game, Lake Erie finished the afternoon with its third highest shooting percentage of the season at 42-percent (23-for-55). Its three-point effort of 10-for-25 (40-percent) was its second best of the season and tied its single-game high for made treys.

Ames led the team with 16 points and had three assists. Caiola scored 13 points with six rebounds. Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow) also pulled down six rebounds and Ruggieri dished out five assists.

Lake Erie (3-10) returns to action Jan. 2-3 at the Fairmont State University Classic when it takes on the host at 6 p.m. on that Friday, followed by a 1 p.m. contest against Concord on Saturday.