(DETROIT) – The season started off great for Lake Erie and Brook Kohlheim with a 68-57 victory over Wayne State in the G-MAC / GLIAC Challenge Sunday afternoon. It was Kohlheim's head coaching debut and she guided the Storm to a win over the former conference and division rival Warriors (0-2).
The Storm received big games out of a pair of sophomores and a junior as Breanna Bauer, Ashley West, and Farrah Benner all totaled 14 points as the only players in the game in double figures. Bauer did all of her scoring in the opening half, while West and Benner sparked a second-half surge to keep the visitors in front the entire way.
Bauer finished the game 6-of-11, all taken in the first half. Wayne State led 19-14 late in the first quarter before a Bauer layup closed the frame and started an 11-0 run that put the Storm up for good. She also made the first basket of the second quarter to make the score 19-18 before Benner drained a 3-pointer to put Lake Erie in front.
"Bree really helped us build some confidence in the first half. She attacked the rim well, rebounded with toughness and communicated on every defensive possession," said Coach Kohlheim. "She helps us so much on the defensive end not only by communicating the loudest, but by protecting the rim as well."
Up five at the halftime break, the Storm raged on from the start of the second half in the form of a 14-2 run as a Sophie Sonneman jumper and another Benner triple gave Lake Erie 10-point lead. The Storm eventually led by as many as 16 after West sank jumper behind the arc.
West was also pivotal in helping Lake Erie stay competitive off the class as she pulled down 10 rebounds for the double-double. Josie Chaddock added nine and Bauer tallied seven in the carom department as well.
"I was so proud of Ashley on both ends of the floor the entire game," added Kohlheim. "She has been asked to serve a few different roles on the team and does it without question. I think she defended their best player (Chambers) well and had a few strong takes to the basket that helped us keep momentum. I thought Farrah played with a confidence today that was really good to see considering this is a tough place to play in. She hit some big-time shots when we really needed them."
Defensively the Storm held the Warriors at bay as the hosts shot just 28.4 percent from the field, including 2-of-23 from 3-point distance. Lake Erie helped force 21 Wayne State turnovers with nine steals, three of which came from Elaine Billing.
The Storm also prevented the hosts from having any players reach double-figures offensively.