Slow Start Dooms Storm in 44-38 Loss to Lakers

Kaeding Skelton (Photo by Ryan Baker/Baker Media Productions)

PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College women's basketball team couldn't overcome a horrible first-half, struggling through the opening 20 minutes before mounting a second half rally that came up just short in a 44-38 setback to visiting Lake Superior State University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) action Monday night (Dec. 19).

The loss was the fourth straight for the Storm, who drop to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in the GLIAC. Lake Superior State improved to 3-6, 2-3 GLIAC.

The teams combined for just 14 total points in the game's first 12 minutes, which included just two baskets in the first four-and-one-half minutes a more than three-minute scoreless stretch midway through the period. Lake Erie made just four-of-28 shots (14.3%) in the first half, including just three-of-16 from beyond the three-point line. Lake Superior State struggled as well, but was significantly better by those standards, going nine-of-24 (37.5%), and led 22-11 at the break.

Fourteen of the Lakers' 22 points came off 11 Lake Erie turnovers.

The Storm made a run early in the second half, cutting the deficit to four at 31-27 on a three-pointer by senior guard Sarah Wojciechowski (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo). Five minutes later they got to within a basket at 33-31 but the Lakers responded with points in back-to-back possessions and pushed the lead back to six points with just over six minutes to play.

Lake Erie had a chance to tie the game with 1:30 left, but could not convert. Maria Blazejewski came down the other end and got a lay-up to extend the Laker lead to 42-38. Then, down five with less than 20 seconds to play, senior forward Ashar Harris (Columbus, Ohio/Africentric/Morehead State) was called for traveling on the way to the hoop, turning the ball over.

The Storm's last gasp came with six seconds to go, but Wojciechowski's off-balance three went half-way down the cylinder before poppoing out. Taylor Greene then hit one of two free throws to push the margin to six and seal the Lakers' second straight win.

Blazejeweski scored a game-high 16 points to lead Lake Superior State. She was the only Laker in double figures. Two others scored six points.

Freshman Kaeding Skelton (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) scored a career-high 11 points to lead Lake Erie. Harris finished with 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, notching her seventh straight double-double.

LEC improved to shoot 34.5% in the second half and finished at 25% for the game. The Storm was just four-of-25 (16%) from three-point range. The Lakers went 17-of-41 (41.5%) from the field and outrebounded the Storm 42-30, making up for 25 turnovers.

The Storm hosts Northwood University on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m. in their final home game before the holiday break.

-LEC-