PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Sophomore guard Jen Caiola (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) scored a career-high 28 points to lead four Lake Erie College players in double figures as the Storm women's basketball team won its fourth straight game Saturday afternoon (Dec. 12) with an 85-73 victory over Slippery Rock at the Mansfield University Comfort Inn Classic.
Caiola connected on six of the Storm's (7-4) season-high 11 three-pointers, including four in the first half as Lake Erie jumped out to an early double-digit lead. She was named to the All-Tournament team while teammate Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) was named the Mansfield Classic MVP, scoring 26 points on the weekend to go along with 14 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists.
The Storm led by as many as 14 in the opening half, but a late Slippery Rock (2-7) run cut the lead to just four, 45-41, at halftime. But Caiola scored five points in a 10-4 spurt to open the second half to put the Storm back up by double figures.
The lead remained in the teens most of the half, but the Rock made another late run to get within six at 79-73 with 2:36 to go. Lake Erie then closed out the game by scoring the last six points to secure the win.
The Storm shot 27-of-66 (40.9 percent) overall from the field, including an impressive 11-of-24 (45.8%) from beyond the arc. Lake Erie also continued its clutch shooting from the foul line, hitting 20-of-25 free throws for an even 80%.
In addition to Caiola, junior Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) recorded her fourth double-double of the season (and 17th of her career). She finished with 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Rogers had a fine all-around performance with 17 points, eight rebounds and a career high-tying five blocks. Senior Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) was the fourth Storm player in double figures with 15 points.
For the second straight game, Lake Erie turned the ball over just eight times, a school record low. Slippery Rock had three players hit double figures, led by Bethany Caudill's 17 points. Chere' Martin had 13 and Nikki Presto added 12 points for The Rock who not only outshot Lake Erie (44.3%-40.9%) but also outrebounded the Storm, 40-39. However,
Slippery Rock committed 14 turnovers and attempted just 15 free throws, making 11.
The Storm, off to its best start ever, will take its winning streak on the road Monday night, Dec. 14, when it travels to the University of Akron. It will be the first regular season meeting between Lake Erie and a NCAA Division I opponent.