PAINESVILLE, OHIO -- The Lake Erie College women's basketball team opens the final month of the regular season with a pair of games this week. In the thick of the playoff chase, the fifth-place Storm (13-5, 7-4) is at seventh-place Hillsdale College on Wednesday, Feb. 1, with a 6 p.m. tip-off at Philips Arena.
SERIES HISTORY: The Storm trails the all-time series with Hillsdale, 2-1, but is coming off a four-point win in the last meeting.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE STORM: Lake Erie led 31-24 at halftime, but a 13-0 run by the host Warriors midway through the second half gave the home team a 12-point lead with under eight minutes to play. The Storm got within a basket in the closing seconds, but a pair of free throws from Lena Thomas put the Warriors up three with nine seconds left and LEC could not get off a final shot. Stephanie Rogers scored 20 points and had nine rebounds and Alyssa Wagers added 12, including her 1,000th career point in the loss. Deanna Crumpton had 21 off the bench for Wayne State and Phaebre Colbert scored 15 and grabbed 11 rebounds.
THE 1,000 POINT TRIO: Alyssa Wagers became the third member of the Storm this season to reach the 1,000-point plateau, doing so with 12 points Jan. 28 at Wayne State. Earlier this season, Stephanie Rogers reached the milestone on Nov. 15 against Salem International and Jen Caiola scored her 1,000th point Dec. 1 against Wayne State. The number of players in women's basketball history at Lake Erie who have scored 1,000 or more points is now eight, including four who have reached the mark in the last three seasons.
FINALLY FINDLAY: The 70-62 win at Findlay Jan. 26 was the Storm's first victory ever over the Oilers in 11 tries dating back to the 1988-89 season.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Hillsdale game will mark the third straight road contest for the Storm and is part of a stretch of five-of-six away from home. The only home game during that stretch is Saturday against Ohio Dominican. So far this season, LEC is 5-3 away from the Osborne Center.
MISS ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD: Senior center Stephanie Rogers has scored in double figures in nine straight games (and 16-of-18 overall this season), and has three 20-point games in that strech. Overall, since Dec. 28, she is averaging 15.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game.
BUSSON BUSTS OUT: Senior guard Britt Busson had the best shooting night of her career Jan. 26 at Findlay, going seven-of-10 from the field, including a career-high six three-pointers (nine attempts). She finished the contest with a game and season-high 20 points, one shy of her career best. In the two games last weekend, she averaged 15 points, five rebounds and four assists with eight three-pointers.
NO LONG DISTANCE SERVICE: The Storm defense has held its last four opponents to just 11-of-49 (22.4%) shooting from three-point range. At one point, the Storm had not allowed a three-point basket in two-plus games, with Lake Superior and Saginaw Valley going a combined 0-for-17 from deep and Findlay missing its first attempt.
BACK ON THE FLOOR: Senior forward Jen Caiola returned to the court at Findlay Jan. 26 following a three-plus game abscence with a concussion. She scored seven points in each of the two games over the weekend and grabbed a season-high seven rebounds at Wayne State.
WINNING WAYS: The 13 victories this season are the third most in a single season in school history, trailing only the 2009-10 (18 wins) and 2007-08 (16) squads. The win over Findlay Jan. 26 clinched the program's fourth .500 or better season – and third in the last five years.
THE TEN SPOT: The Jan. 7 win at Ohio Dominican allowed the Storm to reach the 10-victories mark in a season for just the seventh time in school history. However, it is the fourth time in seven seasons under Bob Booher LEC has reached double figures.
OPPOSITION POSITION: After a slow start, Hillsdale (10-9, 6-6 GLIAC) has won three straight and five-of-six since a five-game losing streak had them near the bottom of the South Division standings. However, the Chargers have seemingly righted their ship and are coming off a big 82-77 home win of 25th-ranked Michigan Tech University on Saturday. The Chargers' Lea Jones was named the South Division Player of the Week after averaging 20.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in Hillsdale's two wins. She scored 22 points and had four steals playing all 40 minutes in the win over Tech. Ohio Dominican (6-13, 2-11 GLIAC) has dropped three in a row and are just 1-13 since starting the year 5-0. Abby Glover leads the team in scoring and rebounding and has six double-doubles.
A LOOK AHEAD: The Storm returns home Saturday, Feb. 4, to host Ohio Dominican University.