Storm Strong in Opening Minutes Against Division I Competitor

CLEVELAND, Ohio (November 9, 2008) - Taking the court in uniform for the first time as an NCAA Division II provisional member Sunday afternoon in an exhibition game at Cleveland State University, the Storm looked strong in the opening minutes against the defending Horizon League Championship winners. The Storm won the opening tip and although it didn't get a shot off in its first possession, was the first team to get on the board with a 3-pointer by freshman point guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) who drained the shot from the top of the key on the team's third trip down the floor.

The Vikings, who return eight players from last year's record-setting team that appeared in the Division I NCAA Tournament, missed its next two shots as Lake Erie took a 5-0 lead on a jumper by sophomore guard Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) just before the 17-minute mark. The Storm held its final lead of the game after a bucket by sophomore Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow) who put Lake Erie up 12-11 six minutes into the contest.

Lake Erie remained within five points of the hosts with eight minutes remaining in the half, but a 16-8 run by Cleveland State to end the period sent Lake Erie into the break trailing by 13, at 35-22.

In the second half, the Storm felt the full-court pressure of the higher-level program and could close the gap by no more than 13 points, losing the exhibition game, 79-46. Freshman guard Ashley Christani (Rootstown, Ohio/Rootstown) provided a spark off the bench, finishing the game with a team-leading 13 points, including a 10-for-14 effort from the line. Busson and Wagers each totaled nine points with Wagers pulling down four rebounds. The game marked the first time in program history the Storm has ever competed against a Division I program.

Lake Erie opens the season at the Wheeling Jesuit Classic, taking on the tournament host on Saturday at 6 p.m. then on Sunday against West Liberty at 4 p.m.