COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Lake Erie College women's basketball team rallied from an 11-point second half deficit for a thrilling 68-67 victory on the road at Ohio Dominican University Saturday (Feb. 5), snapping a 13-game losing streak.
The Storm (3-16, 2-11 GLIAC) trailed 46-35 with 12 minutes to go, but went on a 10-0 run over the next two minutes to climb back into the game. Then with 8:28 remaining, junior forward Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) scored a lay-up to give the Storm its first lead since 4-2.
And though Lake Erie would never give the lead back, the final minutes were nip-and-tuck with the lead never going above four points. The hosts came within a basket eight times in the final 7:20, but could never get over the hump as each time Lake Erie seemed to respond.
The biggest play of the game came with Lake Erie ahead by two in the final 40 seconds, when senior Katelyn Prince (Thompson, Ohio/Ledgemont) dove on the floor following a scramble off her own miss to secure the rebound and give the Storm a fresh 30-second shot clock. The Panthers (5-13, 3-11 GLIAC) were forced to foul then and junior guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) connected on a free throw to give Lake Erie a 67-64 advantage with 27 seconds left.
The Storm then clinched its first win since Dec. 2 with defense. Junior center Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) blocked a Summer Hale jump shot and then Caiola stepped in front of Melissa Hersey pass with seven seconds left.
Caiola hit one-of-two free throws for a four-point lead, which proved to be just enough as Tracy Snider connected on a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it a one-point final score.
Caiola finished with 14 points and Busson 11 for the Storm, which won despite shooting just 38.5 percent in the game. However, Lake Erie went 25-of-35 from the foul line, making 17 free throws in the second half.
Prince added nine points off the bench while Rogers and senior guard Brittany Zele (Geneva, Ohio/Geneva) each chipped in with eight points.
Abby Glover led all players with 20 points and 14 rebounds in the losing effort. Hale finished with 13 points and nine boards while Snider added 12 points. The Panthers did shoot 40% for the game, but were just seven-of-31 from long range.
Ohio Dominican led by as many as 11 points in the first half, and was ahead 31-24 at the break. Glover and Snider combined for 20 of the Panthers' 31 first-half points.
Lake Erie will look to win back-to-back games for the first time this season when it hosts Ferris State University Thursday night at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center in Painesville.