PAINESVILLE, OHIO - In a defensive battle Lake Erie College's efforts won out as 23 Saginaw Valley State turnovers helped the Storm to a 44-36 victory in a GLIAC matchup at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center in Painesville, Ohio.
Lake Erie improves to 12-4 overall and moves into third place in the GLIAC South at 6-3. The loss drops Saginaw Valley State to 3-14 overall and 1-9 in GLIAC play.
The Storm was led by senior post players Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) with a game-high 10 points each. The duo also accounted for 17 of Lake Erie's 35 rebounds with Rogers grabbing nine and Wagers hauling in eight. Rogers was a force all over the defensive end with six steals and three blocks as well. The Cardinals were led by guard Kristen Greene with 10 points.
Both teams came out shooting ice-cold from the field as Saginaw Valley State shot six-of-29 (20.7%) in the first half while Lake Erie went five-of-25 (20.0%). The Storm trailed 4-2 seven minutes in when reserve junior guard Sarah Wojciechowski (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) hit two straight threes and sophomore forward Chrissy Delaney (Delaware, Ohio/Lewis Center Olentangy) followed with a pair of free throws to put the Storm ahead 10-4 at 11:21. Lake Erie went ahead 13-8 on a three by freshman Jackie Murray (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) at 8:20 but would go the next 5:29 without scoring. The Storm defense matched the Cardinals effort and held SVSU without a point for the last 5:36 of the half. A layup by Rogers closed the half as Lake Erie trailed 16-15.
The Storm pulled a 180 in the second half, coming out on fire and more than matched their first half scoring output in the first 4:40 of the half. A Wagers three-point play gave Lake Erie an 18-16 advantage and after SVSU bucket, the Storm went on a 13-0 run to take the lead for good. A Murray three closed the run at 15:36 with Lake Erie ahead 31-18. The Cardinals went on a 10-1 run of their own to close the gap to 32-28 at 10:45 but the Storm defense would tighten once more as SVSU would not score again for another 8:57. Over that stretch Lake Erie went on a 12-0 run. A senior guard Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth) three to close that run extended the lead to a game-high 16 points at 44-28 with 1:47 to play. The Cardinals scored the game's final eight points with the final result no longer in doubt.
For the game, Lake Erie shot 16-of-56 (28.6%) while Saginaw Valley State went 16-of-53 (20.2%). A big key was the Storm's seven three-pointers while holding the Cardinals scoreless behind the arc.
Lake Erie returns to action Thursday as it travels to the University of Findlay to open a three-game road trip.