Poor Start Dooms Storm in 72-61 Loss to IUP

PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Two nights after a dominating 35-point win, the Lake Erie College women's basketball team followed its best performance of the season with one of its worst halves Tuesday night (Dec. 1). The Storm made just seven-of-25 shots in the first half, digging too big a hole to climb out of- despite a spirited second-half run- in a 72-61 home loss to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In shooting just 28 percent and committing 10 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, Lake Erie (2-3) trailed 38-20 at halftime.   The Crimson Hawks (3-2) meanwhile got 15 points from Sylvie Tafen and shot 47% (16-of-34) in the first half.

A 12-5 run to open the second half by IUP had the game dangerously close to getting out of hand. However, the Storm began to battle back. Sophomore guard Jen Caiola (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) kick-started a 20-4 spurt with a three-pointer and a lay-up and freshman Chloe Irish (Legrange, Ohio/Keystone) hit a three to make the score 54-45 with 7:22 left.

But the Storm could not get any closer than eight points the rest of the way as IUP hit 16-of-18 free throws over the final seven-plus minutes, including 11-of-12 by Eryn Withers.

The Storm shot 45.7% in the second half to finish at 38.3% for the game (23-of-60). Junior forward Alyssa Wagers (Stow,Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) led Lake Erie with 15 points, scoring 13 in the second half. She was the only Storm player in double figures, however sophomore Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high nine rebounds. Caiola also finished with nine points.

IUP had four players reach double figures led by Withers' game-high 21 points to go along with eight boards and six assists. Tafen finished with 17 points while Lacey Claar scored 15 and Kierstin Filla chipped in with 10 points and six assists.

The Crimson Hawks shot 43.4% in the game, going 23-of-53, and were 21-of-26 (80.8%) from the foul line in the game.

Lake Erie, which wrapped up a three-game homestand, will play UC-Clermont on Friday night, Dec. 4, at 8 p.m. in the second game of the Ohio Dominican University Classic in Columbus, Ohio.