Caiola, Wagers Lead Storm to First Win of the Season, 75-64 Over Slippery Rock


PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Sophomore Jen Caiola (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) scored a career-high 23 points and junior Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) recorded her second straight double-double to lead the Lake Erie College women's basketball team to its first victory of the season, a 75-64 win over Slippery Rock University Saturday (Nov. 21) in the opening game of the Lady Cat Classic in Johnstown, Pa.

The Storm (1-2) never trailed in the game, opening the contest with a 25-4 run. Lake Erie hit five three-pointers during the opening spurt. Caiola connected on six-of-10 threes in the game, including a perfect four-of-four in the first half as Lake Erie built a 44-25 lead at the break.

"We shot the ball really well in that first half," said head coach Bob Booher. "We had not been shooting well from outside the first two games and I think defensively they were going to pack it in and make us prove we could make the outside shots. Today, we were able to do that."

Slippery Rock (0-3) slowly chipped away at the lead in the second half, closing within nine points with 2:30 to go, but senior Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) made a pair of steals on defense, Wagers nailed three-of-four from the foul line and junior guard Brittany Zele (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) made a couple key plays down the stretch to close it out.

"I thought we did a nice job from the line and Brittany made a few big plays for us to hold on," Booher said. "We did well enough to maintain that lead we had built. Our youth showed and we paniced a little bit at times, but coming through it will be big for us later in the season."

Wagers finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for her 15th career double-double. Ames scored 11 points, hitting two-of-three three-pointers. 

Overall, Lake Erie shot a season-high 42.9 percent from the floor (24-of-56), going nine-of-18 (50%) from deep. The win was the Storm's first since Jan. 21 of last season, a stretch of nine games.

Nikki Presto had a double-double to lead The Rock. She finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. Julie Molloy was the only other player in double figures with 11 points. As a team, Slippery Rock shot just 24-of-67 (35.8%), including just 11of-38 (28.9%) in the first half.

The Storm will play the event's host, the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Sunday (Nov. 22) at 3 p.m. at the Sports Center in Johnstown, Pa.