NORTH CANTON, Ohio – Basketball is a game rife with numbers. And in two games this season, Walsh apparently has Lake Erie's.
The Cavaliers downed the Storm, 89-73, on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Hall in North Canton. For the host Cavaliers, the victory spelled a season sweep of the Green & White. And Walsh accomplished that sweep in high-flying fashion – the Cavaliers averaged 87.5 points per game in the two wins and did so against a Lake Erie team that ranks as one of the top defenses in the GLIAC.
On Saturday, Walsh (8-14, 4-12 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) pounded the inside to the tune of out-rebounding LEC, 48-22, and getting to the free-throw line 39 times. The Cavaliers drained 90 percent (35) of those attempts and managed to control the scoreboard late after the two sides tangled in a mostly-even first half.
Walsh forward Tara Gallupe went 14-of-16 at the line in scoring a game-high 22 points. Teammate Jalynn Graham carded a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) and piled four assists and three steals onto that. And the Cavaliers backed up a Jan. 18, 86-70 win in Painesville, Ohio.
In the early going, a Murray 3-pointer ignited what would be a 10-run for the Storm. The Green & White made just about everything they looked at for a long stretch in the first half. LEC went 13-of-its-first-19 from the field, opening up a five-to-eight-point lead that would be maintained throughout most of the first 20 minutes.
Walsh made a push late in the half by going on a 12-2 run. The Cavaliers took a 38-36 lead on a Maggie Berry trey at 3:54. By the latter minutes of the first frame, the Walsh offense was matching the shooting performance of the Storm, and WU was also scoring a slew of points at the free-throw line.
The Cavaliers went 21-of-24 at the line and finished out the high-scoring half on a 5-0 run. They went into the break with a 47-40 lead. Walsh shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the floor in the first; Lake Erie shot 51.6 percent (16-of-31). WU tripled up the Storm, 21-7, on the boards.
The Cavaliers upped their lead to 13 (63-50) over the early minutes of the second half. Chrissy Delaney and Jackie Murray then keyed a run that brought Lake Erie back within five. By the nine-minute mark, Walsh found itself in front by 10.
With the Cavaliers controlling the boards and Lake Erie shooting a more-average 34.5 percent (10-of-29) from the field in the second, Walsh controlled the game the rest of the way. LEC made just one 3-pointer in the second stanza, and the Lake Erie defense couldn't contain the WU offense.
In out-rebounding the Storm by 26, four players – Whitney Dabbelt, Kelsey Funderburgh, Tara Gallupe, Jalynn Graham – logged seven or more boards for the Cavaliers.
For the Storm the loss closed out a two-game set in the Canton area – LEC lost, 82-62, at Malone on Thursday. Overall, the Storm have now lost three in a row.
Delaney scored her 18 points – a career-high – on 7-of-10 shooting. Irish went 6-of-10 in garnering her 16 points; Murray went 5-of-11 (4-of-9 from distance) in piling up 17. The rest of the Storm squad went a combined 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from the floor.
Chloe Irish added four assists, a block and three steals to her stat line.
When it comes to having someone's number, Delaney has Walsh's. She scored 16 (her previous career best) against the Cavaliers last month.
The GLIAC's sixth-best defense (in points per game allowed, 65.6) has yielded more than 83 points just three times this season. That's just a number. But Walsh had that number twice.
Notes: Lake Erie forced 30 turnovers, marking the fifth time this season the Storm have forced 30 or more in a single game. … LEC shot 43.3 percent (26-of-60) for the game. The Storm have now topped the 40 percent mark five times this season. … Walsh's 35 made free throws mark the most by an opponent this season. Foes have attempted more than 39 on two occasions. … LEC's minus-26 on the boards marks a season low and the team's worst rebounding margin since Feb. 2, 2013 (at Ashland). … Jackie Murray has her season scoring average up to 11.1 points per game. She has tallied 13 or more in 7-of-her-last-8 games.
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