PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Host Bellarmine University outscored the Lake Erie College women's basketball team 15-4 in overtime, including a 9-2 run to close the game, in a 92-81 victory Friday night
(Nov. 19) at the United Electric/Metro Medical Tip-Off at Knights Hall in Lousville, Ky.
Junior preseason All-GLIAC South Division forward Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) scored a game-high 24 points, hitting on four three-pointers, for the Storm (1-1), which rallied from as 12-point second-half deficit to force the extra period.
Lake Erie scored the game's first four points and held a slim lead through most of the first half. But Bellarmine (1-0) held a 17-10 edge over the final eight minutes of the period to take a 37-31 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Knights hit two quick three pointers to take their biggest lead of the night at 43-31 with 19:11 to play. Caiola hit three three's in the next four minutes as the Storm closed within three at 50-47.
The Knights pushed the lead back up to nine on two occasions, the last at 66-57 with 8:22 remaining, but once again the Storm responded with an 8-1 run, cutting it to 67-65 on a lay-up by Caiola. A thre by junior guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) and another basket from Caiola gave the Storm its first lead since the first half with 2:!4 left in regulation.
The teams traded baskets- and the lead- several times over the next several possessions, with the Storm taking a 77-76 lead on a jumper in the paint by senior Brittant Zele (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) with just over a minute to go. Kylee Hamilton, who scored 15 points, hit one of two free throws with five seconds left to force overtime.
Bellarmine scored the first six points in the extra period and never looked back.
Junior forward Liz Stephens (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) had a career night with personal highs of 14 points and seven rebounds while Zele and Busson each finished with 11 points. One game after hitting a school-record tying 14 three-pointers in its season opener, the Storm connected on just seven-of-18 from beyond the arc in game two and shot 43.3 percent overall (29-of-67).
The Knights had five players reach double figures. Lauren Jones scored 23 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds to lead the way. Allison Matheis had 19, Hamilton and Therese Montano each scored 15 and Jalissa Chatlos chipped in with 13.
Bellarmine went 33-of-47 from the free throw line, compared to just 16-of-19 for the Storm. The Knights also forced 30 Lake Erie turnovers, offsetting the 24 they committed.
Lake Erie will look to bounce back on Saturday night (Nov. 20), but the Storm will have to do so against perennial national power Northern Kentucky University, a 48-46 loser to the University of Charleston in the event's opener.