Seventh Heaven: Undefeated Storm Hold Off Hillsdale, 68-64, to Move to 7-0

Seventh Heaven: Undefeated Storm Hold Off Hillsdale, 68-64, to Move to 7-0

PAINESVILLE, OHIO –  The Lake Erie College women's basketball team overcame some sloppy play and got big second halves from Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls), Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and Cate Cianchetti (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls/Akron) to win its seventh straight game, 68-64 over Hillsdale College Saturday afternoon (Dec. 3) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.

Wagers had her second straight double-double, including 15 points and seven rebounds after halftime, as the Storm improved to 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) for the first time.  

The Storm led by two midway through the first half senior guards Brittany Zele (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) and Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) went on a 9-0 run that extended the lead to 11 points.  Zele hit a pair of jumpers to start the spurt and Busson finished it with a three-pointer and then a steal and fast-break layup that made the score 23-12 with 6:02 left before halftime. 

Hillsdale (3-3, 0-2 GLIAC) , which was just seven-of-30 from the field in the first 20 minutes, including –for-nine from three-point range, closed to within five late in the half, but two Wagers free throws gave the Storm a seven-point lead heading into the locker room.

Lake Erie quickly pushed the lead back into double figures early in the second half, but Hillsdale again cut it to five at 36-31 with 21:43 to play, but a three-point play by Rogers stopped the Chargers' mini run.

It was a seven-point game with 8:32 to play when Cianchetti hit a three to start a 9-0 Storm run that ran the margin to 16 points with 6:44 left.   

However, the visitors had one more run in them.  An uncontested lay-up by Lea Jones made the score 62-57 with 1:14 to go. After Wagers made one-of-two free throws, Cianchetti swiped the ball from Jones on her way to the hoop and Busson hit a pair of free throws to make it an eight-point game. 

After Chelsea Harrison missed a jumper from the wing, Wagers connected for a pair from the line to make it a 10-point lead with 25 seconds left.  Later, Rogers made one-of-two at the line to seal the win.

Wagers finished with game highs of 19 points and 13 rebounds.  She was 11-of-14 from the line and after going 0-for-six from the field in the first half, was four-of-five in the second. She also had five steals.  Rogers, hampered by early foul trouble and who had her double-double streak end at four games, scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half. 

Busson and Cianchetti each finished with 11 points.  Cianchetti hit three three-pointers and scored eight points in the second half.

As a team, the Storm shot 54.5% in the second half after a 31% performance in the first and finished 21-of-51 overall, including seven-of-19 from three-point range.  Lake Erie was 19-of-24 from the foul line, with Wagers, Rogers and Busson accounting for all the attempts.

Katie Bildner led four Chargers in double figures with 15 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds.  Angela Bisaro and Marissa DeMott each scored 13 and Harrison finished with 10 points.

Hillsdale bounced back in the second half to finish 24-of-62 (38.7%) overall from the field, but just six-of-23 (26%) from three-point range. 

Each team committed 23 turnovers in the game.

The Storm will be off for a week for finals before heading to Ashland University on Sunday, Dec. 11 for a GLIAC contest against the Eagles.

-LEC-