CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Lake Erie College women's basketball team carried on an annual tradition as of late, taking part in an exhibition matchup with the closest Division I school in the area. The Storm battled with the Cleveland State Vikings on Sunday (Nov. 27) at the Wolstein Center.
The Vikings pulled away after the first quarter, en route to a 65-42 win over the Storm.
Cleveland State opened a 4-0 lead before Kayla Gabor (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) split the deficit with a layup. Following a Vikings basket, Gabor answered with two free throws at the line. With the Vikings up 8-4, Daija Jones (Cleveland, Ohio / St. Joseph Academy) nailed a three with 4:52 left in the first quarter. Cleveland State expanded the lead to four, and then Jones hit two free throws, making it 10-9 Vikings. The home team ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run, taking a 17-9 lead into the second quarter.
The Storm continued to struggle in the second quarter as the Vikings put more space between them heading into halftime. Lake Erie shot 3-of-13 from the floor, only scoring six points in the frame. Jordan Joseph (Solon, Ohio / Solon) hit a layup early in the quarter before Gabor scored the final two baskets of the half. Cleveland State took a 32-15 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Storm shot 21% (5-24) in the first half, while the host Vikings shot 37% (13-35). Gabor led the Storm with eight points scored.
Cleveland State opened the lead to 20 before the Storm answered with a 6-2 run with four points from Gabor. The Vikings bounced back with an 11-4 spurt, opening the lead back to 23 nearing the end of the third quarter. Cleveland State led 48-28 after three quarters.
The Vikings opened a game-high 25 point lead two minutes into the fourth quarter. Lake Erie cut the lead back to 18 with Gabor and Christine Dawson (Mentor, Ohio / Mentor) combining on a 9-2 run. Cleveland State ended the game with a 65-42 final score.
The Vikings outshot the Storm 41% (26-64) to 28% (14-51). Lake Erie struggled from beyond the arc, only making two of 13 shots.
Gabor led the Storm with 19 points. Jones scored seven points while Dawson scored six points. Ashley West (Willoughby Hills, Ohio / Cornerstone Christian) pulled down eight rebounds.
Lake Erie will begin GLIAC play on the road at Wayne State on Thursday (Dec. 1).