PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- The Lake Erie College women's basketball team opens the 2013 calendar year this weekend with a pair of Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) road games on the Upper Peninsula. The Storm (2-6, 0-5 GLIAC), who are looking to snap a five-game losing streak and pick up their first league win of the season, play at Michigan Technological University on Thursday night, Jan. 3, and then are at Northern Michigan University on Saturday afternoon, Jan. 5.
LIGHTNING QUICK RECAP: Lake Erie dropped an exhibition contest at Division I Cleveland Staye University on Sunday (Dec. 30), 71-50. Ashar Harris had another double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the loss. Shelby Carpenter and Skylar Hebert each had six points.
TECH TIDBITS: Michigan Tech (7-3, 5-1) had its three-game winning streak snapped with a double-overtime loss to seventh-ranked University of Indianapolis in the Huskies' last game Dec. 30. The setback also dropped Tech's home record to just 2-2. All-American guard Sam Hoyt leads the Huskies in scoring at 15.4 points per game and is shooting better than 44% from three-point range. Forward Taylor Stippel, a preseason All-GLIAC pick, averages 12.1 ppg.
NORTHERN NOTES: The Wildcats (7-3, 4-2) haven't played since Dec. 18 when they lost at Tiffin University, 75-63, snapping a three-game winning streak. Northern Michigan is led offensively by sophomore guards Lauren Gruber and Alyssa Colla at 12.8 and 11.o points per game, respectively. Those two also lead the team in assists and steals.
NEW YEAR, NEW RESULTS?: In two of the past three seasons, including last year, the Storm has opened the calendar year by winning its first two games of the New Year.
FREE THROW WOES: In the first three games of the season, the Storm connected on 33-of-45 free throws, good for 73.3% and a 2-1 records. In the last five games – all losses – Lake Erie is hitting just 49.5% (49-of-99) at the charity stripe. During that stretch, the Storm opponents are making good on nearly 68% at the line.
OPERATION SHUTDOWN: Despite a 2-6 overall record, the Storm defense has kept the team in nearly every game this season. Lake Erie ranks third in the GLIAC in scoring defense (55.5 ppg.), fifth in field-goal defense (36.0%) and second in forced turnovers (22.4/game).
POINTS AT A PREMIUM: The Storm's last four games have all been low-scoring affairs. During that stretch, Lake Erie is allowing just 51.3 points per game, the most being 57 by Grand Valley State University in a game that went into overtime on Dec. 1. However, the Storm offense has not been able to keep pace, averaging just 44.5 points per game over that same stretch with the high-water mark of 52 coming in that overtime game against Grand Valley State.
STREAK SNAPPED: Ashar Harris opened her first and only season in a Storm uniform by recording a double-double in each of the first seven games Lake Erie played. However, he streak came to an end in a 53-40 loss to Northwood University on Dec. 19. Harris scored eight points in the loss, but did record 11 rebounds – extending her season-long of double-digit rebounding efforts to eight games.
THE FORECAST: The Storm travels south next weekend to face GLIAC newcomers Malone University (Jan. 10) and Walsh University (Jan. 12).