PAINESVILLE, OHIO – The Lake Erie College women's basketball team got off to a hot start and never trailed in a wire-to-wire 50-43 victory over Tiffin University in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action Thursday night (Feb. 21) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center.
The Storm (4-19, 2-18 GLIAC) showed no signs of the slow starts that have plague them in recent weeks, racing out to an 11-1 lead in the first seven minutes. They also kept the pressure up on the defensive end, forcing turnovers and keeping the Tiffin offense in check.
Lake Erie snapped a 10-game losing streak with the win while delivering a serious blow to Tiffin's playoff hopes.
The Dragons (11-13, 8-12 GLIAC) missed their first 10 field goal attempts and didn't score their first basket until the 12:34 mark. But the Storm answered immediately, hitting back-to-back three-pointers, the second by freshman Carlye Garst (Salem, Va./Salem) gave Lake Erie a 17-3 lead.
Tiffin was just five-of-30 from the floor (16.7%) in the first 20 minutes and the Storm had had a 25-13 lead at halftime.
The Dragons crept within seven five minutes into the second half before a driving lay-up by junior Chrissy Delaney (Delaware, Ohio/Olentangy) gave the Storm a 29-20 lead. Midway through, the lead was cut to four before freshman Sami Narducci (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) connected on a three and classmate Skylar Hebert (St. Johns, Mich./St. Johns) hit a pair of free throws to make it 38-29.
A 9-2 spurt got the visitors within a basket, but a pair of free throws from freshman Kaeding Skelton (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) put the Storm back up four with less than three minutes to play.
It was 45-41 with less than a minute left when Narducci stole the ball and hit Shelby Carpenter (Dayton, Ohio/Miami Valley) for the lay-up and a six-point lead with 43 seconds to go.
Delaney blocked Mackenize Storlie's lay-up attempt on Tiffin's next possession and Carpenter hit a free throw to seal it. Narducci added a pair in the closing seconds for the final points.
Hebert and Delaney each scored 10 points to lead Lake Erie, the total a career high for the former and a fourth straight game in double figures for the latter. The Storm forced 20 Tiffin turnovers, with junior Chloe Irish (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) picking up six steals, and blocked a season-high seven shots at the defensive end. Narducci chipped in with seven points, three rebounds and four steals off the bench.
Offensively, the Storm gave the ball away just 10 times and connected on 16-of-25 free throws.
Jessica Harris had a double-double in the loss, leading all players with 13 points and 15 rebounds. She also blocked three shots. The Dragons, who lost for the fourth time in five games, finished the game shooting 26.5% (13-of-49) and were just two-of-11 from three-point range.
The Storm host Ohio Dominican University in a GLIAC South Division contest Saturday afternoon, Feb. 23, looking for their second straight win at 3 p.m.