TIFFIN, Ohio –Solid rebounding and a strong second half helped Lake Erie survive an iffy night at the free-throw line, as the Storm snapped a five-game losing skid by defeating Tiffin, 72-69, on Thursday.
LEC found itself down, 56-50, at the 6:42-mark, but the visitors finished strong in winning for the first time since Feb. 1. Sophomore guard Sami Narducci led a balanced Storm effort by contributing 13 points, five assists and five steals to a final box score that saw Lake Erie outscore TU, 45-41, in the second half.
Lake Erie (10-16, 5-15 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) had four players notch double-digit scoring totals. The Storm are now 6-7 this season on the road.
With the loss at home, Tiffin (7-16, 4-15) has now lost four in a row.
The Storm held Tiffin to a 3-for-12 mark from the field in opening up a 10-6 lead over the first eight minutes of play. LEC worked its lead to seven (17-10) by the 6:36-mark, but the Dragons then went on a 15-5 run.
With the Storm going just 8-of-16 at the free-throw line, Tiffin went into halftime leading 28-27.
The home five went 7-for-their-first-10 in the second half, and by the 12-minute mark the Dragons had upped their lead to seven (46-39). Over the middle minutes of the second, Lake Erie endured a three-minute scoring drought.
Three minutes later Kaeding Skelton scored five quick points to vault Lake Erie into the lead. A Skelton bucket at 2:08 lifted LEC to a 65-60 advantage on the Gillmor Center scoreboard.
Lake Erie took a four-point lead into the final minute of play, and the Storm prevailed in what was a festival of free throws at the end. LEC shot 25 second-half free throws, making just 13 (52 percent). The two teams combined to shoot 47.5 percent (29-of-61) in an 86-point second period.
LEC out-rebounded Tiffin, 44-38, for the game. The Green & White shot 40 percent (24-of-60) for the game; LEC has hit the 40 percent mark in three of its last four games.
Sami Narducci scored her 13 points on a 5-of-12 night from the floor. Fellow guard Daija Jones also scored 13 points. Chloe Irish added 11, and Brianna Shagovac added 10. Kaeding Skelton chipped in with eight points and nine boards.
Lake Erie shot 51.2 percent (21-of-41) from the free-throw line. The team's 41 attempts mark a season-high.
The Dragons were led by Jillian Adams who had a 10-point, 11-rebound night.
With its victory on Thursday, Lake Erie swept a two-game season series from the Dragons. The Green & White downed TU, 63-59, in Painesville, Ohio, on Jan. 30.
Lake Erie's season will continue on Saturday when the Storm visit the Ohio Dominican Panthers (1 p.m. tip-off).
Notes: With her five steals on Thursday evening, Sami Narducci has now recorded thefts in 15 straight games. She has garnered 37 steals over that stretch. The 5-foot North Royalton, Ohio, product went into Thursday's action ranked second in the GLIAC with 2.2 steals per game. … From the 5:30-mark through the 25-second mark, Tiffin was held to just one field goal. … Lake Erie's second-half comeback was its second of the season. The Storm are now 2-36 over the last two seasons when trailing at halftime.
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