PAINESVILLE, OHIO - Traffic issues on the Pennsylvania Turnpike were about the only thing that could slow down the Lake Erie College women's basketball team - and that was only momentarily. After arriving at the arena 16 minutes before tip-off due to another vehicle's breakdown that stalled traffic all around the team bus, the Storm shook off some early rust and went on to win its seventh straight game, 80-66, at Seton Hill University Tuesday night (Jan. 26).
Junior forward Alyssa Wagers (Stow Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) picked up her third straight double-double and senior guard Renese Ames (Bedford, Ohio/Bedford) scored a season-high 20 points as the streaking Storm moved seven games over .500.
The Storm (15-8) trailed by nine midway through the first half, but closed the period on a 21-8 spurt to take control. Seton Hill (9-6) got within seven points in the second half, but Lake Erie responded with an 11-0 run to put the Griffins away.
Ames sparked the Storm in the opening half, scoring 13 of her 20 points in the first 20 minutes as Lake Erie took a 41-29 lead. Her performance leaves her just eight points shy of 1,000 for her career heading into the weekend.
"We shot the ball really well in that opening half, despite the little bit of adversity we faced with our travel issues," said head coach Bob Booher. "Renese hit some big shots for us to get us a pretty good-sized lead."
Wagers, named the ECAC co-Player of the Week earlier in the day, led all players with 21 points and 13 rebounds. After a relatively quite first half, she scored 14 points and pulled down 10 boards over the final 20 minutes. Wagers went 12-of-15 from the foul line in the second half and 13-of-16 overall. As a team, the Storm went 25-of-31 from the stripe.
The Storm held Seton Hill to just 36 percent shooting while connecting on 44%. Lake Erie improved to 12-0 when holding its opponent to less than 40% shooting.
"When they got it down to seven, we switched to a zone defense and that really seemed to give them trouble," said Booher. "And on offense, they tried to be very physical with our kids, but we made them pay by hitting our free throws."
Erika Haitz led Seton Hill with 16 points. Jordan Burkes added 15 for the Griffins, who have lost five-of-six.
Lake Erie returns to action Saturday, Jan. 30, hosting Ohio Dominican University in a "Winter Storm White Out" doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. All fans attending the game are encouraged to wear white to the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center to support the home teams.