PAINESVILLE, Ohio – Ashland topped Lake Erie, 63-48, in Great lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action on Monday night.
AU's McKenzie Miller scored a game-high 21 points, and the Eagles (11-8, 9-6 GLIAC) broke free of the Storm in the second half after the two sides played an even first. For Lake Erie (9-12, 4-11), the loss snaps a two-game win streak. Ashland outshot Lake Erie, 50 percent to 22 percent, over the game's final 20 minutes.
The Storm forced four early Ashland turnovers in taking a 10-6 lead over the first five minutes of play. The Eagles then went on a methodical 6-0 run over a stretch dominated by both defenses.
Baskets were tough to come by in a physical half, with both sides forcing difficult shots. The visitors worked their way to a 19-12 lead by the 4:26-mark. Lake Erie went just 4-for-its-first-22 from the floor, with Ashland defenders blocking shots and forcing difficult tries.
But the Storm rebounded with a flurry of points in the final moments of the first half, and the game was knotted at 23-23 at halftime. Good inside play and nifty passing were strong points for LEC in the first half. Center Kaeding Skelton was a force in the paint, garnering six points and six rebounds.
Over the early minutes of the second, Ashland built a six point lead (34-28). The Storm continued to play solid defense, but a spate of misses led to an eventual nine-point lead for the Eagles by the midpoint of the second half.
By the seven-minute mark of the second, Lake Erie had knocked down just five shots in 23 attempts and was trailing by 16 (50-34). Misfiring at that rate would hold throughout most of the half, stifling any opportunities for the Storm to get back into the game.
McKenzie Miller scored her game-high 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-7 night at the free-throw line. Freshman Suzy Wollenhaupt added 10 points and 13 rebounds. Alyssa Miller stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, four boards, four assists and three blocked shots. The Eagles had 10 blocked shots as a team.
Lake Erie got 12 points, four rebounds and four steals from sophomore guard Sami Narducci. Sophomore center Kaeding Skelton added 11 points and eight rebounds. Jackie Murray scored eight points, all from the free-throw line.
Narducci's 12 points mark a single-game career-best.
Just two days after one of the Storm's top shooting performances of the season, Lake Erie was held to a 25.4 percent (17-of-67) mark from the floor on Monday.
Lake Erie's next game will be on Saturday when the Storm travel to Canton, Ohio, to take on the Malone Pioneers. Tip off in the front half of a Canton double (LEC will be at Walsh on Saturday) is slated for 6 p.m.
Notes: Freshman forward Suzy Wollenhaupt (17.8 points per game heading into Monday's tilt) and junior guard Taylor Woods (16.6) are both in the GLIAC's top six in scoring this season. Wollenhaupt has scored 64 points over Ashland's last three games. … Lake Erie was held under the 50-point mark for the third time this season and the first since Jan. 2. … Murray's eight-point game broke a string of five straight contests with 13 or more points. … LEC is now 3-7 this season at home. Two home tilts remain on the Storm's regular-season schedule.
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