PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The host Storm prevailed a close back-and-forth affair, as Lake Erie topped Tiffin, 63-59, on Thursday.
No player scored more than 14 points in a balanced, defensive battle in what marked the first of three straight home games for Lake Erie (8-11, 3-10 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). Jackie Murray (14 points), Daija Jones (10) and Brianna Shagovac (10) combined to score more than half of LEC's 63 points.
With the loss Tiffin (5-11, 2-10) has dropped four in a row.
The Storm took an 8-4 lead in the early minutes of the contest. The Dragons squared things by the 14:47-mark, and the two sides then traded baskets for six or seven minutes of game play.
Late in the half, a Brianna Shagovac lay-up sent the Storm on an 8-3 run. That stretch would help in sending Lake Erie into halftime with a 33-28 lead.
An exchange around the neighborhood of a five-point LEC lead continued until the 8:20-mark of the second, when Alyssa Brumbaugh drained a three from the left wing to put the Storm up by nine (52-43). But Tiffin then scored the next eight points of the game to pull within one (52-51) by the 5:54-mark.
After an LEC timeout, a Daija Jones lay-up broke the Lake Erie drought timeout on the team's next possession. Three minutes -- and two Jackie Murray treys – later, Lake Erie had re-established its lead at five (60-55).
The Storm took a 60-56 lead into the final minute of action, and they held on despite a final-seconds-opportunity for TU to tie the game on a short bank shot from the right block.
Murray scored her 14 points on the strength of four 3-pointers in the game. Daija Jones' 10 points were nearly half of a double-double – she garnered eight rebounds on the night. Brianna Shagovac scored her 10 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Kadeing Skelton added seven points and nine boards.
Deidre McKay tallied 14 points to lead Tiffin.
LEC will continue its stretch of home games on Saturday with a 1 p.m. tilt against Ohio Dominican.
Notes: Jackie Murray has now scored 13 points or more in each of her last four games. … LEC out-rebounded TU, 40-38, marking the Storm's first plus in rebounding margin since Jan. 4. … Sami Narducci had four steals. Lake Erie had 12 as a team and has now posted double-digit steal totals in 10 games this season.
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