ELKINS, W. Va. – It was not a night for shooters, but Lake Erie prevailed in just about every other phase of the game in winning its 2013-14 season opener on Friday. The Storm rode a strong second-half stretch to a 57-33 victory over Alderson-Broaddus (W. Va.) in day one of the GLIAC-GMAC Crossover Challenge hosted by Davis & Elkins College.
The Storm (1-0) and Battlers (0-1) combined to shoot just 31.9 percent (30-of-94) from the floor, 15 percent (6-of-40) from beyond the arc and 44.4 percent 24-of-54) from the free-throw line. But anything else you can add up on a basketball stat sheet went the way of the Green & White in the neutral-site affair in the Mountain State. Lake Erie finished the game with a plus-13 edge in rebounding margin and a plus-16 edge in the turnover exchange.
The end result was LEC earning a victory in a season opener for a fourth straight year. Junior center Jodie Jindra had a strong night for the Green & White. Jindra scored nine points and hauled down a game-high 11 rebounds. LEC out-rebounded the Battlers, 46-33.
The Battlers' 33 points marked the fewest allowed by the Storm in a single game since the 2011-12 season opener, a 97-31 win over Ursuline (Nov. 12, 2011).
"The shooting performance was nothing to write home about," said Head Coach Bob Booher. "But in just about every other part of the game I was very happy with what I saw out there. We had some nice stretches where we were tenacious on defense, and we were good on the glass throughout the game."
Neither team dented the scoreboard until the 16:35-mark in the first when guard Sami Narducci converted a layup to give the Storm a 2-0 lead. Alderson-Broaddus then went on a 9-2 run, but Lake Erie countered 12-1 stretch, and after 13 minutes of play, the Storm found itself in front by six, 16-10.
Misfires from the field were a common occurrence in a first half that saw Lake Erie shoot under 30 percent from the floor yet still go into halftime with a 20-16 lead. The Storm was dominant on the boards in the opening period, and a solid LEC defense produced turnovers as well as A-B misses.
Chrissy Delaney and Chloe Irish sparked an early second-half run that saw the Green & White up its lead to 15 points (36-21) by the 13:40-mark in the second half. The Storm forced several Battler turnovers early in the second and turned them into points at the other end of the floor. LEC would finish the game with 33 points off turnovers.
At one point in the second, Lake Erie held A-B scoreless for a stretch lasting over nine minutes. By the midpoint of the second half, Lake Erie had taken command of the scoreboard. The balance of the game was played out with the Storm owning a lead of 20-plus points.
Chloe Irish led the Storm in scoring with an 11-point night. Chrissy Delaney scored 10. Lake Erie shot 32.8 percent (20-of-61) from the field, 16 percent (4-of-25) from 3-point land and 43.3 percent (13-of-30) from the charity stripe.
The LEC defense forced 32 turnovers, a total topped only once all season a year ago (33-Ohio Dominican, Jan. 26). Sophomore guard Shelby Carpenter had five steals and seven rebounds.
Junior guard Nautica Davis posted a double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) to lead the Battlers.
Lake Erie will play tournament-host Davis & Elkins on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.