COLUMBUS, OHIO – A 24-8 run to open the second half and a big game from senior guard Cate Cianchetti (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls/Akron) allowed the Lake Erie College women's basketball team to runaway with a 69-52 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) victory on the road Saturday afternoon (Jan. 7) at Ohio Dominican University.
Cianchetti hit five three-pointers and finished with a game- and career-high 27 points to lead four players in double figures for the Storm (10-2, 4-1 GLIAC), which won its second straight game overall and in league play and sent the Panthers (5-9, 1-7 GLIAC) to their ninth straight defeat.
Lake Erie raced out to an early lead by scoring the first 13 points of the game. That 13-0 run was powered by three-pointers from Cianchetti and classmates Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) and Britt Busson (Wadsworth, Ohio/Wadsworth). But the home team rallied and eventually battled back to tie it at 17-17 midway through the period and had the lead on two occasions in the half.
The game was again tied at 27-27 with 3:49 to go in the half, but a jumper by graduate senior Alyssa Wagers (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls) and another three by Cianchetti, this one from about 30-feet right before the halftime buzzer, sent the Storm into the locker room with a five-point lead, 32-27.
The lead quickly grew into double digits after halftime as the Storm blew open the game with some hot shooting. Lake Erie made 10 of its first 12 shots in the second half, including six straight, to take a 59-35 lead with 9:02 to go in the game.
An 8-0 run by the Panthers cut the margin to 16 points, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way. Senior Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) and Cianchetti each hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 20 with under seven minutes to play and the Storm cruised from there.
Cianchetti surpassed her previous career high of 24 set just three games ago at Northwood University on Dec. 17. She went 8-of-13 shooting, including five-of-six from beyond the arc.
Rogers and Wagers finished with 12 points apiece and Jen Caiola chipped in with 11 points for the Storm, who hit on 48 percent (23-of-48) shooting overall, including seven-of-13 from three-point range. Rogers grabbed seven rebounds and blocked four shots in a game for the fifth time this season.
Abby Glover had a double-double, with 10 points and 14 rebounds, to lead the Panthers. ODU was just 15-of-43 (35%) from the field and committed 23 turnovers, which were turned into 29 Storm points.
The win marks the seventh time in school history the Storm has won 10 or more games in a season, but it is the fourth time the team has achieved the feat in seven years under head coach Bob Booher.
Lake Erie, which posted a 3-2 mark during a five-game road swing, returns home Thursday night, Jan. 12, to host the University of Findlay, the two-time defending GLIAC South Division champions, at 6 p.m.