Storm Hosts Third-Ranked Cal (Pa.) in Home Opener Tuesday Night

#3 California University Vulcans (2-0) at Lake Erie College Storm (2-2)
When: Tuesday Nov. 24, 2009 7:00 p.m.
Where: Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center (700) Painesville, Ohio
Radio/Audio Broadcast: None
Live Stats:
Series History: Cal leads 1-0
Last Meeting (Result): Jan. 7, 2009 (Cal won 100-33 at Cal)

STORM HOSTS NATIONALLY RANKED VULCANS IN HOME OPENER: Riding a two-game winning streak, the Lake Erie College women's basketball team hosts nationally-ranked California University in its home opener.  Lake Erie is coming off a successful two-game sweep this past weekend at the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown Lady Cat Classic. The Vulcans, meanwhile, enter the game with a 2-0 record and ranked third in the latest USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches Poll.

WAGERS TAKES HOME MVP AWARD: Junior forward Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) was named the most valuable player of the Lady Cat Classic after averaging 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the two games.  She also shot 78.6 percent from the floor and hit 11-of12 free throws over the weekend.

ROGERS EARNS SPOT ON ALL-CLASSIC TEAM: Along with Wagers, sophomore Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was named to the Lady Cat All-Classic Team after averaging 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds.

30th SEASON OF STORM HOOPS: This is the 30th season in Lake Erie women's basketball history dating back to the 1978-79 season.  To date, the Storm has posted an overall record of 154-492 (.238).  However, nearly 27 percent of the program's all-time wins have come in the last five seasons under head coach Bob Booher.

RANK AND FILE: This is the fourth time Lake Erie has faced a team ranked in the Division II Coaches Poll.  The Storm is 0-3 to date with losses last season to California, Indiana (Pa.) and Northern Kentucky.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE STORM: The Storm rallied from a seven-point deficit with six-and-a-half minutes to go for a 59-54 win over host Pitt-Johnstown in the final game of the Lady Cat Classic.  The win capped a 2-0 weekend for the Storm at the event, following a 75-64 win over Slippery Rock on Saturday.  Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) led the way with 21 points, going eight-of-10 from the floor.  Sophomore Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was close behind with 18 points and nine rebounds.  Both players were named to the All-Classic Team, with Wagers taking home M.V.P. honors. 

SCOUTING THE STORM:  Through four games, Wagers leads the team in scoring and rebounding at 16.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.  Close behind in scoring is sophomore guard Jen Caiola (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) who is averaging 14.5 points per contest, including a career-high 23 points (six-of-10 three-pointers) against Slippery Rock.  As a team, Lake Erie is scoring 68.2 points per game, a seven-point improvement over a year ago.

VULCANS TO WATCH: Third-ranked Cal, an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight team last year, has been led by the duo of junior Kayla Smith and senior Brooque Williams.  Smith is averaging an impressive 27.0 points and 17.0 rebounds through the first two games. Williams is at 20.0 ppg. while shooting 62.1% from the floor.  In addition, Crystal Andrews is averaging 15.5 points and 7.0 assists for the Vulcans who have outscored their first two opponents by an average of 20.5 points per game.

FOR OPENERS: Lake Erie has won its last two home openers and three-of-four under head coach Bob Booher. 

RIGHT AT HOME: Under Booher, the Storm has posted a 22-20 record at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center, including a 19-12 home mark the last three seasons.

MILESTONE MARCH: Several members of the Storm squad are quickly approaching individual career milestones. Senior guard Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) is just 60 points shy of 800 for her career (740) and just 107 shy of fifth place on the school's all-time list.  Junior Alyssa Wagers is nearing the 500 career point mark (486) and also the 400 career rebound mark (377).  Stephanie Rogers needs just two more rebounds for 200 in her career and just four more blocks to move into the top five.

Complete release and game notes in PDF