CANTON, Ohio – The Lake Erie College women's basketball team was defeated by the Malone University Pioneers 86-77 on Thursday (Jan. 11) night on the road.
Lake Erie opened the contest with eight straight points over the first four minutes of the game. Christine Dawson (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) had the first four points for the Storm. The Pioneers trimmed the lead to five twice until Farrah Benner (Brunswick, Ohio / Brunswick) answered with a three pointer of her own both times. Benner's second three pointer gave the Storm a 14-6 lead with 2:49 left in the first quarter. Malone ended the quarter with a 6-0 run as Lake Erie led 15-12 after one frame.
The Pioneers pulled within one quickly but Benner knocked down her third three pointer of the night as Lake Erie regained a four point advantage, 18-14. Malone tied the game at 18 with 6:46 remaining in the half. Benner gave the Storm a 21-18 lead with her fourth three pointer just seconds later. The teams exchanged the lead three times before Malone gained control. Over the final 4:20, Malone ended the half on an 18-6 run, leading 42-29 at halftime.
Malone started the second half with a 10-3 run, before Lake Erie used four consecutive free throws to chip away at the lead. The Pioneers opened a 60-38 lead and then Lake Erie went on a 5-0 run, with a three point play from Breanna Bauer (Port Huron, Mich. / Northern) and a Kayla Gabor (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) layup. The run pulled the Storm within 17, but the Pioneers lead 64-46 after three quarters.
Sophie Sonneman (Jamestown, Ohio / Greeneview) opened the scoring for the Storm in the fourth quarter, converting a layup 45 seconds in. Malone pushed the lead above twenty but the Storm responded quickly with shots. After a Malone jumper with 6:33 left, Dawson and Gabor scored on back-to-back layups as the Storm trailed by 17. Shortly after, Benner made her fifth three pointer of the contest and Josie Chaddock (Minerva, Ohio / Minerva) followed with a layup as Lake Erie went on another 5-0 run. The Storm cut the deficit to nine twice in the final minutes but fell 86-77.
Benner led the Storm with a career-high 21 points on seven-of-ten shooting, including five three pointers. Dawson converted eight field goals and four free throws in route to twenty points and a team-high 12 rebounds. Chaddock finished with 15 points and five steals, a game high. Gabor added 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Storm will face the Walsh Cavaliers on Saturday (Jan. 13) afternoon on the road at 3:00 PM.