PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie College women's basketball team began 2018 the same way 2017 ended, with a victory at the Osborne Center on Thursday (Jan. 4) night. The Storm defeated the Hillsdale College Chargers 71-64.
"Sometimes you can't just look at the stats for a game. You need to look at the score on the score board as well. The score told us the better story for the game tonight," said Storm head coach Bob Booher.
Hillsdale jumped out to a 5-2 lead before the Storm tied it with a three pointer from Kayla Gabor (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) at the 5:52 mark of the first quarter. Three minutes later, Hillsdale regained a 12-8 lead before the Storm used a 5-0 run, taking a 13-12 lead. Jordan Joseph (Solon, Ohio / Solon) gave the Storm a lead with a layup in the paint. Hillsdale ended the frame on a 6-0 run, holding a 18-13 lead at end of the first quarter.
Hillsdale opened the second quarter with a basket, pushing the lead to seven in the opening seconds. Farrah Benner (Brunswick, Ohio / Brunswick) scored eight points on a Lake Erie 10-2 run over a span of two minutes. Benner's three pointer gave the Storm a 23-22 lead with 7:38 left in the second quarter. With a one point lead, Josie Chaddock (Minerva, Ohio / Minerva) converted a three point play with a free throw as Lake Erie led 28-24 with six minutes left. The Chargers cut the lead to two twice but the Storm held a 34-30 lead at the intermission.
Gabor and Benner each had eight points for the Storm in the first half.
The Chargers surged out of the locker room with a 6-0 run to open the second half, as they took a 36-34 lead. The teams exchanged points as the game was tied three times over a two minute period. With the game tied 40-40, Gabor scored eight straight points for a Lake Erie 8-2 rally. Gabor gave the Storm a 48-42 lead with a layup at the 4:33 mark. One minute later, Christine Dawson (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) added a layup for a 50-43 Lake Erie advantage. The Chargers cut the lead to two but Gabor ended the quarter with a driving layup. The Storm led 52-48 after three quarters.
The teams went basket for basket in the first two minutes of the fourth period before Lake Erie got back-to-back buckets from Gabor and Dawson. Gabor's basket gave the Storm an eight point lead at 58-50. The Chargers slowly chipped away at the lead, dropping it all the way to two with two minutes remaining. Gabor answered with a four point play that just about put the game away for the Storm. Lake Erie led 66-60 with 1:52 left. Lake Erie made five free throws down the stretch, securing the 71-64 victory.
Gabor led all scorers with 30 points, including 14 points in the third quarter alone. She shot 11-of-18 from the floor, with four three pointers. Chaddock scored 12 points with three assists and three steals. Benner finished with ten points off of the bench.
The Storm will finish the weekend with a home matchup on Saturday (Jan. 6) against #25 Findlay. The contest will tip off at 3:00 PM from the Osborne Center.