Storm Women Open GLIAC Tournament Wednesday Night at Michigan Tech

Alyssa Wagers and the Storm open GLIAC Tournament play at Michigan Tech Wednesday.
Alyssa Wagers and the Storm open GLIAC Tournament play at Michigan Tech Wednesday.

PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- The Lake Erie College women's basketball team will make its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament debut on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Michigan Technological University.  The quarterfinal matchup between the fifth-seeded Storm (16-10, 10-9 GLIAC) and the fourth-seeded Huskies (19-6, 14-5 GLIAC) will tip-off at 5:30 p.m. at the Student Development Center Gymnasium in Houghton, Mich.  

STORM REPORT: Lake Erie enters postseason play having dropped its last four games of the regular season.  However, all four losses came to teams who qualified for the GLIAC Tournament, including a 69-66 setback at the hands of Michigan Tech on Feb. 18 in Painesville.  Lake Erie made a late run at fifth-ranked Ashland University in the season finale on Saturday (Feb. 25) before falling 62-53.  

POSTSEASON HISTORY: Lake Erie is making its first postseason appearance since playing in the East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Region First Round in 2008 at the Division III level.  The Storm have made nine other previous trips to postseason tournaments, all in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC), and are 1-10 all-time in playoff games.  This is the first DII postseason appearance for LEC.

ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RESULTS: Below is a listing of Lake Erie's previous postseason contests:

Date

Tourn.

Opponent

Result

2/26/98

AMCC 1st Round

PSU-Behrend

L, 78-35

2/25/99

AMCC 1st Round

Pitt-Bradford

L, 77-47

2/23/00

AMCC 1st Round

Frostburg State

L, 88-59

2/21/01

AMCC 1st Round

PSU-Altoona

L, 79-60

2/20/02

AMCC 1st Round

Pitt-Greensburg

L, 79-55

2/26/03

AMCC 1st Round

Frostburg State

L, 63-58

2/25/04

AMCC 1st Round

Pitt-Greensburg

L, 105-48

2/20/07

AMCC 1st Round

Frostburg State

W, 65-64

2/23/07

AMCC Semifinal

Medaille

L, 73-67

2/29/08

AMCC Semifinal

Pitt-Greensburg

L, 74-63

3/5/08

ECAC 1st Round

Gwynedd-Mercy

L, 87-75

 

PLAYOFF EXPERIENCE: Just one member of the Storm, fifth-year senior guard Brittany Zele, has played in a postseason game during her college career.  Zele scored 10 points and had three assists in the Storm's last playoff game, an 87-75 loss to Gwynedd-Mercy College in the ECAC Tournament on March 5, 2008.  She also scored five points and had two steals in LEC's other playoff game that year, a 74-63 loss to the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg in the semifinals of the AMCC Tournament.  Alyssa Wagers was a member of the team, but did not play in those games after suffering a season-ending knee injury earlier in the year.

FOR STARTERS: Since the Dec. 28 game at Cleveland State, the Lake Erie starters have logged 2,642 out of a possible 3,400 minutes of game action or 77.7%.  Since that time, Britt Busson (32.9), Stephanie Rogers (32.8), Alyssa Wagers (31.1), Cate Cianchetti (31.1) and Jen Caiola (28.4) are all averaging over 28 minutes per game in the last 17 games.  Overall on the season, each of those five is averaging more than 27 minutes per game.  The only three reserves to average more than 10 minutes per contest are Jackie Murray (15.5), Chrissy Delaney (12.4) and Brittany Zele (10.4)  

CLOSE CALLS: Seven of the Storm's last nine games have been decided by three points or less.  Lake Erie is 3-4 in those seven and is 5-5 overall this year in contests with a margin of four points or fewer. Lake Erie has not played a game decided by double digits since the 24-point win over Lake Superior State on Jan. 19, a span of 11 games.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE STORM: After a disappointing first half, Lake Erie trailed league front runner Ashland by as many as 19 points in the second half but climbed within five in the final minute before ultimately coming short of an upset bid, 62-53.  The Storm shot just 14% from the field and scored only 15 points in the opening half. Alyssa Wagers led the Storm with her seventh double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in her final home game.  Cate Cianchetti added 11, includng a pair of clutch three-pointers during the Storm's comeback attempt.  Kari Daugherty had a monster game for Ashland, scoring 30 points and pulling down 24 rebounds.  Jena Stutzman scored 13 and Ashley Dorner added 10 as the Eagles won their 25th straight game.   

OPPOSITION POSITION:  Michigan Tech, the defending national runner-up, has won three straight and six-of-seven heading into the tournament.  The Huskies received votes in last weelk's WBCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.  Michigan Tech has the GLIAC's top-ranked scoring defense, allowing just 57.1 points per game.  Offensively, the Huskies are led by junior guard Sam Hoyt, averaging 16.2 points and 4.0 assists per game. She is second in the league in three-pointers made per game (2.7).  Senior center Lynn Giesler (12.6 ppg.) and classmate Lindsey Lindstrom (12.4 ppg., 6.9 rpg.) also are scoring in double figures.  Hoyt and Lindstrom each scored 20 against the Storm on Feb. 18.  

SERIES HISTORY: Michigan Tech has won both previous meetings with the Storm.  Last season, the Huskies won in Houghton, 89-49, and then held off the Storm 69-66 two weeks ago in Painesville.

A LOOK AHEAD: The winner of Wednesday night will advance to the GLIAC Tournament semifinals at the site of the highest remaining seed.

-LEC-