COLUMBUS, OHIO – Alex Hallenbeck's jumper with 14 seconds to go capped a 7-0 run in the final 53 seconds to give host Ohio Dominican University a thrilling 58-57 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory over the Lake Erie College women's basketball team Saturday (Jan. 26) at Alumni Hall in Columbus.
The late push by the Panthers (5-12, 2-12 GLIAC) spoiled what was poised to be a big comeback win for the Storm (3-13, 1-12 GLIAC). Behind a career-high 16 points from redshirt junior Chloe Irish (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) – all in the second half – Lake Erie rallied from an 13-point second-half deficit to take a 57-51 lead with 1:39 to play.
Kacee Hockenberry scored an old-fashioned three-point play to start the ODU run and Micaela Liddane followed with a seal and two free throws to make it 57-56 with 40 seconds remaining. Hockenberry picked up another steal with 25 seconds left to set up Hallenbeck's shot that put the Panthers back in front.
Lake Erie had a final chance for the win, but Skylar Hebert's (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns) jumper with three seconds left was off the mark, allowing the Panthers to escape with the win and snap their six-game losing streak.
Ohio Dominican got off to a great start and shot 62.5 percent (10-of-16) in the first half to take a 35-24 lead into the break.
After halftime, however, it was the Storm that flipped the script. Irish, who was scoreless in 10 minutes of action in the first half, connected on six-of-nine from the floor and hit all four of her free throws in the second, playing all 20 minutes of the period. Her final five points came during a 9-0 Storm run that gave LEC that 57-51 lead. She also led the team with five rebounds.
The Storm defense was dominant in the first 19 minutes of the second half, forcing 19 turnovers in the second half en route to 17 points off those takeaways, and holding the home team to under 40% from the field in the period. Overall, Lake Erie forced a season-high 33 turnovers.
Offensively, Lake Erie shot 42.9% overall, but just five-of-16 from three-point range. In addition to Irish's 16 points, sophomore Jackie Murray (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent St. Mary) scored 13 points, including 11 of the team's 24 first-half points.
Hockenberry scored a game-high 21 points for the Panthers, offsetting a game-high 10 turnovers. Hallenbeck scored 12 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, helping ODU to a 31-20 advantage on the glass. As a team, the Panthers shot 48.7% for the game and went 17-of-20 from the foul line.
The Storm will look to stop their current slide on Wednesday night, Jan. 30, at Saginaw Valley State University.