PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Despite a huge game from senior forward Ashar Harris (Columbus, Ohio/Africentric/Morehead State), visiting Grand Valley State University outlasted the Lake Erie College women's basketball team, 57-52 in overtime, Saturday (Dec. 1), sending the Storm to their second straight loss in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).
Lake Erie (2-3, 0-2 GLIAC) led by six with 1:27 to play in regulation but the Lakers (4-1, 1-1 GLIAC) closed regulation with a 7-1 run to force overtime. Kellie Watson, who had just five points in the first 40 minutes, hit a jumper and a three-pointer in the first minute of overtime to put Grand Valley State up 55-50.
Harris, who finished with game and season-highs of 24 points and 22 rebounds, converted a lay-up off a steal with 1:19 to play that cut it to 55-52, but those would be the Storm's only points in the extra session. Watson capped the scoring with a pair of free throws with 23 seconds to play.
The 20-20 game from Harris was the second of her career and fourth in Lake Erie recorded history. Current graduate assistant coach Alyssa Wagers had the last one for the Storm, coming Jan. 3, 2012 at Seton Hill. Prior to that, it was 29 years between 20-20 games at Lake Erie.
Her other 20-20 game was a 22-point, 22-rebound effort at Florida International University on Nov. 26, 2010 while playing at Morehead State University.
Harris had a double-double just 13 minutes into the game. She finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds in the first half. A half in which the Storm led most of the way through, despite getting points from just two players – Harris and sophomore guard Jackie Murray (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), but a late flurry by the Lakers in the final 30 seconds gave Grand Valley State a 22-18 edge at the break.
Overall Lake Erie shot just 8-of-26 (30.8%) in the first half while Grand Valley was 8-of-29 (27.6%), going just 1-of-12 from three-point range. The two teams combined for 22 turnovers in what was a sloppy, low scoring half.
Briauna Taylor scored 12 of her team-leading 18 points in that first half for Grand Valley.
Both teams improved dramatically shooting the ball in the second half. Lake Erie hit 11-of-24 (45.8%) while the Lakers were 13-of-30 (43.3%). After a hot start to the half, the Storm had as big a lead as seven points at 36-29 with 10:18 left in regulation. But the Lakers came back and tied it at 43-43 with 4:42 to go.
The Storm went on a 6-0 run in the next three minutes but couldn't keep Grand Valley at bay in the final minute-plus. Dani Crandall had an old-fashion three-point play and Taylor scored a lay-up to make it 49-48. Then after Murray went one-of-two at the line, Watson tied the game with a lay-up with 25 seconds to go.
Taylor finished with 12 rebounds to go along with her 18 points. Watson finished with 12 points and was the only other Grand Valley player in double figures.
Freshman Shelby Carpenter (Dayton, Ohio/Miami Valley) added 10 points for the Storm. It was her fourth straight game in double figures. She also had seven steals to lead the defense which forced 19 turnovers. Murray added eight points.
Going just 1-of-10 in overtime dropped the Storm to 20-of-60 (33.3%) overall. The Lakers were 23-of-63 (36.5%), including just three-of-23 (13%) from distance.
The Storm is off for finals week and returns to action on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Wayne State University.