ATHENS, OHIO – In its dress rehearsal for the 2011-12 season, a short-handed Lake Erie College women's basketball team put up a nearly show-stopping performance for more than a half at Ohio University before the deeper Division I Bobcats pulled away for a 70-52 win in an exhibition game Tuesday night (Nov. 8) at the Convocation Center in Athens.
Despite shooting just 28% in the first 20 minutes, the Storm trailed just 28-25 at halftime thanks to a pressuring defense that forced nine turnovers and held the Bobcats to just seven-of-30 (23.3%) shooting.
Ohio's Tenishia Benson scored 15 points in the first half, going seven-of-seven from the foul line. But seniors Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) and Allison Pavkov (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) each hit a pair of three-pointers in the first half to keep the Storm in the game.
The Ohio lead was still just three points two minutes into the second half, but then the Bobcats went on a 19-5 run to begin to pull away. A jumper by junior Chloe Irish (LaGrange, Ohio/Keystone) with 8:20 remaining brought the Storm within 14 points at 56-42, but the Bobcats responded with 10-0 spurt over the next two minutes to take their largest lead of the game.
Caiola finished with a game-high 19 points for the Storm, hitting four three-pointers, while Pavkov chipped in with 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds. Sophomore forward Chrissy Delaney (Delaware, Ohio/Lewis Center Olentangy) also scored 10 points.
Lake Erie was without senior starters Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) as well as reserves Liz Stephens (North Royalton, Ohio/North Royalton) and Taylor Rogers (Ashland, Ohio/Ashland/Baldwin-Wallace) for the game due to class conflicts and illness. Additionally, sophomore forward Jodie Jindra (Sunbury, Ohio/Big Walnut) is expected to miss the first six weeks of the season after suffering a leg injury.
Without the frontcourt depth, the Storm was outrebounded 60-27, including 25-4 deficit on the offensive boards. That resulted in 23 second-chance for the Bobcats and none for the Storm.
Benson led four Bobcats in double figures with 13 points. After the slow start, Ohio shot 50% in the second half to finish at 37.1% for the game. The Bobcats went just one-of-15 from three-point range but were 23-of-34 from the foul line, compared to just 15-of-20 for the Storm.
Lake Erie officially opens the 2011-12 season on Saturday night, Nov. 12, by hosting traditional nonconference rival Ursuline College at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center at 7 p.m.