Storm Sweeps Lady Cat Classic With 59-54 Win Over Host Pitt-Johnstown, Wagers Named MVP


PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Event most valuable player Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) scored a game-high 21 points and sophomore Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio) just missed her fourth career double-double as the Lake Erie College women's basketball team rallied for a 59-54 victory over the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown Sunday (Nov. 22) in the final game of the UPJ Lady Cat Classic.

The Storm (2-2), which led by as many as eight early in the second half, trailed by seven (48-41) with 6:23 to go but outscored Pitt-Johnstown (1-2) 18-6 the rest of the way to notch its second straight win.

"They were a good team, one that had a close lost to a ranked team last week on the road," said head coach Bob Booher. "The different today was our guards putting a lot of pressure on them defensively and that really helped."  

Wagers, who hit on eight-of-10 from the field and all five from the foul line, also grabbed seven rebounds and five steals in the game. She scored 33 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in the two games, while shooting better than 71 percent from the field.

"The big thing is that (Wagers) is a kid that never quits. She's never going to quit on the court," said Booher. "Right now she is playing with a lot of confidence and today stepped up and made some big plays on both ends for us."

Rogers meanwhile, scored 18 points and pulled down a game-high nine boards. She also earned a spot on the all-tournament team with Wagers.

Lake Erie led by two at halftime, and upped its edge to eight at 38-30 on a Rogers lay-up with 13:25 left. Pitt-Johnstown went on a 10-1 run to take the lead on a three by Andre Dalton. Katie Kendall also hit a three and Dalton added another to make it a 16-1 run and a seven-point edge for the Lady Cats.

But Wagers scored on three straight possessions, capping her personal 7-0 run with a three-point play to tie it at 48. Then after the Storm retook the lead on a pair of buckets from Rogers, Wagers and senior Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) closed out the win by hitting six straight free throws in the final 1:16.

"The key was we did not panic down the stretch," said Booher.   "We played really well at the end."

As a team, the Storm shot 23-of-49 (46.9 percent) from the floor. One night after hitting half of their three-point attempts, they went just 2-of-11 (18.2%) from distance. But defensively, the Storm held Pitt-Johnstown to just 32.3% shooting and forced 28 turnovers.

Dalton and Sheena Aden led Pitt-Johnstown with 14 points each.

The Storm returns to the court on Tuesday, Nov. 29, when it hosts third-ranked California University (Pa.) in its home opener at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.