PAINESVILLE, OHIO – In the first game of 2012, graduate senior forward Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) scored 21 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds and senior center Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) added 20 points and eight boards as the Lake Erie College women's basketball team, which had let a 10-point second-half lead slip away, pulled away late for a 78-69 road win at Seton Hill University on Tuesday night (Jan. 3).
A 13-3 run by the home team erased a double-digit lead built on the strength of Wagers and Rogers down low, but the Storm (9-2) outscored the Griffins (3-8) 16-7 over the final four minutes to win their final nonconference game of the season.
Wagers' 20 rebounds were the most since Brooke Foglyano grabbed 21 in a game on Dec. 11, 1999 and eclipsed her career high of 18 set at Ursuline College on Feb. 4, 2009. It was her fourth double-double of the season and the 27th of her career.
She nearly had a double-double in each half. She scored 11 points and had nine rebounds in the first half as Lake Erie took a 10-point lead. The Storm fell behind early 4-0 but after going up 13-8 on a three-pointer by senior Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) never led by less than four points over the final 14 minutes of the opening period. Rogers scored 12 points in the first half and LEC took a 38-28 lead into the locker room.
Anne Marie Olesky scored seven points as part of a 10-5 run to open the second half for Seton Hill to close the gap. A three-pointer by Mallory Sanner gave the Griffins a 54-51 lead and the two teams played even basketball for the next five minutes.
But with 3:49 to play, the Storm retook firm control. Junior guard Sarah Wojciechowski (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) hit back-to-back three's and Rogers followed with a pair of free throws for an 8-0 Storm run.
Down the stretch Lake Erie hit seven straight free throws at one point and went eight-of-10 from the line over the final three minutes to close out the game. After going just four-of-nine at the stripe in the first half, LEC was 10-of-14 in the second while the Griffins were just four-of-four for the entire game.
Wagers scored 10 points in the second half and her 11 rebounds during that time were more than any other player had in the game. She was eight-of-14 from the floor and five-of-nine from the line. Rogers meanwhile, was even more efficient, hitting on seven-of-nine shots and all six of her free throws.
Wojciechowski hit four three's and finished with 12 points off the bench. Caiola also hit a pair of treys and scored 11 for the Storm.
Seton Hill had three players reach double figures. Tiara Stossel led the way with 19, Paige Alviani had 16 and Olesky scored 15 but it wasn't enough to prevent a fourth straight loss. The Griffins actually outshot Lake Erie (47.5%-43.5%) but were outrebounded 41-28.
The Storm returns to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) play on Saturday, Jan. 7, at Ohio Dominican University. At 3-1 Lake Erie is currently second in the GLIAC South Division standings.