PAINESVILLE, OHIO - The Lake Erie College women's basketball team trailed the nation's third-ranked team by just six points midway through the second half, but a 16-5 run by California University (Pa.) over the next six minutes propelled the Vulcans to an 81-59 win Tuesday night (Nov. 24) at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic and Wellness Center, snapping the Storm's two-game winning streak.
The Storm (2-3) showed no signs early of being intimidated by a squad that had beat it by 67 points in their first meeting last season, taking a 13-11 lead with 13:16 left in the half on a jumper by freshman Sarah Wojciechowski (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo).
Though that would be the Storm's last lead, they never got further behind then seven points and were down just a basket on Wojciechowski's three-pointer with 37 seconds left in the half, despite a rough shooting night. The Storm shot 34 percent overall, going 10-of-29 in a first half in and trailing 34-30 at the break.
Cal (3-0) quickly pushed the lead up to 10 to open the second half, but sophomore Jen Caiola (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) hit back-to-back three's to cut the deficit to four. The lead went back up to 10 with Kayla Smith's lay-up with 11 minutes to go before Caiola and senior Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) scored baskets to make it 52-46 with 10:19 to go.
But Megan Kermond's three started the aforementioned 16-5 spurt and the Vulcans went on to outscore Lake Erie 29-17 the rest of the way to post the final 22-point margin.
Caiola was the only Storm in double figures with 14 points. Wojchiechowski, junior Brittany Zele (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) and sophomore Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) each finished with eight points.
Overall, Lake Erie shot just 18-of-53 from the field and committed 20 turnovers. Playing without sophomore starting forward Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) due to the flu, the Storm was outrebounded 53-24 and scored just 10 points in the paint- compared to 38 by Cal.
The Vulcans got double-doubles from Kayla Smith (22 points, 13 rebounds) and Brooque Williams (15 points, 12 rebounds) and had four players total in double figures. Cal shot 47.8 percent (32-of-67) from the field, including 19-of-37 (6-of-11 three-pointers) in the second half.
The Storm returns to the court after Thanksgiving on Sunday, Nov. 29, with a 1 p.m. home game against Mansfield University.