PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Junior Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) all-around play and classmate Jen Caiola's (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) perfect day from the foul line led the Lake Erie College women's basketball team scored the final nine points of the game to a win in its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) debut, 78-72, at Wayne State University on Thursday night (Dec. 2).
Rogers led all players with 25 points, nine rebounds and a career-high eight blocked shots – and added four steals- while Caiola was eight-of-eight from the line in the second half and scored 22 points for the Storm (2-2, 1-0 GLIAC), which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Lake Erie jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game, but Wayne State (0-6, 0-1 GLIAC) battled back and outscored the Storm by 13 the final 16 minutes of the half to take a five-point lead, 34-29, into the locker room.
But the Storm battled back, starting the second half like it started the first, as a 7-0 run cut the Warrior lead to a single point. Wayne State responded to go back up by seven, but Lake Erie came right back to take a one-point lead on a three-point play by Caiola to make it 46-45 with 12:26 to go.
Neither team would take a larger lead than five points over the next 10 minutes, and Wayne State led 72-69 at the two-minute mark. Sophomore Sarah Wojciechowski (Randolph, Ohio/Waterloo) hit a three-pointer to tie the game and Caiola hit six straight free throws in the final 50 seconds to pull out the team's maiden GLIAC victory.
The Storm shot a blistering 65.5 percent in the second half.
Rogers finished 11-of-16 from the field to lead LEC, which shot 54.4% as a team (31-of-57). The game featured just 20 total foul shots, with Caiola and Rogers combining to go 10-of-11 for all of Lake Erie's scoring from the stripe. The strong shooting performance made up for 26 turnovers and a minus-15 rebounding deficit (45-30).
Tyler Hardy scored 18 points to lead Wayne State, which shot just 39.7% (31-of-78) from the field. The Warriors, who also got 15 points and five steals from Kiara Smith, made just five free throws in only nine attempts.
The Storm continues its conference-opening weekend road trip Saturday, Dec. 4, at Hillsdale College.