TIFFIN, OHIO – Host Tiffin University broke a 47-47 tie with an 8-0 run and then held off the Lake Erie College women's basketball team with some key work on the offensive glass and at the free throw line down the stretch for a 62-55 victory Thursday night at the Gillmor Center in Tiffin.
The loss was the third straight for the Storm (16-9, 10-8 GLIAC) and knocked Lake Erie out of contention for a first-round home game in next week's Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Tournament.
The game was tightly contested throughout with nine ties and nine lead changes. A three-pointer by senior forward Jen Caiola (South Russell, Ohio/Chagrin Falls) late in the first half gave the Storm a 24-22 lead at halftime. Lake Erie then opened the second half with a 5-0 spurt to take its largest lead of the game, seven points, at 29-22.
Tiffin (19-6, 13-5 GLIAC) battled back and tied the game at 32. The two teams then went back-and-forth for the next eight minutes until the Dragons went on an 8-0 run on the strength of back-to-back three's by Karli Mast and Jennifer Johnston. Johnston's shot made the score 55-47 with 3:34 to play.
Lake Erie got within three at 57-54 on a three from senior guard Cate Cianchetti (Stow, Ohio/Stow-Munroe Falls/Akron) with 1:24 to go. Tiffin then missed three shot attempts on their next possession, but each time came up with the offensive rebound to hold onto the ball. Johnston and Mandy Jaeb then hit four free throws to again make it an eight-point game with just 30 seconds to play.
Senior center Stephanie Rogers (Mentor, Ohio/Mentor) led Lake Erie with 12 points, her 14th straight game in double figures. Caiola was the only other LEC player in double figures with 11 points. The Storm shot just 34 percent (17-of-50) as a team, including only five-of-19 (26.3%) from three-point range.
Lake Erie forced 20 turnovers in the game, but converted those takeaways into just nine points. Tiffin, meanwhile scored 20 points off 17 Storm giveaways.
Jaeb scored a game-high 15 points to lead Tiffin. Jessica Harris had a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds and Amanda Baute pulled down 12 boards as the Dragons held a decisive 40-28 edge on the boards. Tiffin shot 42.6% (20-of-47) from the floor.
The Storm, which has lost three in a row for the first time all season, closes out the regular season at home Saturday, Feb. 25, against fifth-ranked Ashland University. Tip-off on Senior Day is at 1 p.m.