Key Free Throws Propel Storm to Win, 70-64

Key Free Throws Propel Storm to Win, 70-64

TIFFIN, Ohio- The Lake Erie College women's basketball team made some key free throws down the stretch as the Storm used a fourth quarter run to defeat the Tiffin University Dragons 70-64 on Thursday (Jan. 12).

"We had some key free throws in the last minute," said Storm head coach Bob Booher. "We had a lot of contributions from the whole team tonight. With the starters playing the majority of the game, the smaller contributions from the bench were huge in the small time they played."

The Storm has won two of three games in January as they improved to 6-9 overall. Lake Erie is 4-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC).

Lake Erie opened the game with momentum as the Storm scored the first 11 points over the course of the first five minutes. Kayla Gabor (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) and Christine Dawson (Mentor, Ohio /Mentor) combined for eight points in the run. Over the next four minutes, Tiffin answered with a 13-4 run, cutting the lead to two points. Josie Chaddock (Minerva, Ohio / Minerva) capped off her seven point quarter with a jumper that gave the Storm a 17-13 lead after one.

The Dragons began the second quarter with a three pointer that cut the Storm to one. Daija Jones (Cleveland, Ohio / St. Joseph Academy) scored four points as the Green and White extended the lead to 24-16 with a 7-0 spurt. Tiffin responded with a 10-2 run that tied the game at 26 with 2:27 left. With 50 seconds left, Victoria Burdo (Waterville, Ohio / Anthony Wayne) made two free throws as the Storm led 28-26 at the break.

Chaddock led the Storm with seven points in the first half.

Tiffin took their first lead of the game as they started the second half with five straight points. Down five, the Storm took over the lead with a 12-0 run. Four players added points as Lake Erie regained the 40-31 lead.  Tiffin fought back over the final three minutes, coming within two points at the end of the quarter. Lake Erie entered the fourth with a 46-44 advantage.

Gabor and Chaddock combined for back-to-back baskets at the outset of the fourth quarter, pushing the lead back to six. Tiffin used a couple baskets to tie the game at 50 with seven minutes to go. Dawson scored two straight jumpers with 3:25 left, giving the Storm a 57-52 lead. Tiffin quickly tied the game but Lake Erie was able to regain distance over the final few minutes. Gabor scored six straight points for a six point Storm lead. Lake Erie got seven key free throws from three players in the final minute, earning a 70-64 win on the road.

Gabor tied for a game-high 22 points, with 16 points coming in the second half. She also grabbed nine rebounds. Dawson scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half along with seven rebounds and three assists.

Chaddock finished with 12 points in the game as she has scored in double figures five of the last six games.  Coach Booher spoke about her stretch after the game, "She has been the most consistent as a freshman as we have ever had."

Jones added eight points along with 12 rebounds, tying a career-high. Jones also had six steals in the game. "On top of making some key free throws in the final minute, Jones played a tremendous floor game tonight. She showed some positive senior leadership as she had two steals in the final minute as well," said Coach Booher.

The Storm shot 42% from the floor while the team made 76% of their free throws, making 19 of 25 attempts.

Lake Erie will complete the second leg of the current road trip with a road matchup at Walsh on Saturday (Jan. 14).