Dec. 1, 2012
PAINESVILLE, Ohio - The Grand Valley State women's basketball team came away with an overtime victory at Lake Erie on Saturday (Dec. 1) afternoon, outlasting the Storm by a score of 57-52.
The Lakers are now 4-1 on the year with a 1-1 mark in the GLIAC. Lake Erie falls to 2-3 overall with an 0-2 record in the conference.
In the first half, it was a defensive battle on both sides early in the game. With only a 2-2 score after over six minutes of play, Lake Erie took an early 7-3 lead, but the Lakers battled back with a pair of baskets by senior Briauna Taylor (Livonia, Mich.) to tie the score at seven. After another four point run by the Storm, Taylor went back to work, scoring yet another four straight points to keep the Lakers even at 11, as Taylor scored 10 of the first 11 points for GVSU.
With the score 18-13 Lake Erie, the Lakers went on a 9-0 run to end the first half, courtesy of lay-ups by Taylor and senior Alex Stelfox (Bowie, Md.), a trifecta from sophomore Meryl Cripe (Elmhurst, Ill.) and a pair of free throws by junior Dani Crandall (Eaton Rapids, Mich.). GVSU went in to the locker room with a 22-18 lead, despite shooting under 30-percent from the floor in the opening half.
Taylor nearly had a double-double in the first half alone, recording 12 first half points to go with seven rebounds. Taylor also had two assists and three steals, matching Stelfox and Cripe's three thefts each.
The Storm offense ran nearly exclusively through post player Ashar Harris, as she had 12 points and 14 rebounds in the first half.
In the second half, GVSU took a 27-24 lead after a long three-ball by junior Kellie Watson (Ionia, Mich.), the Storm went on a 10-point run to take a 34-27 lead over the Lakers.
GVSU responded, going on an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 36-35 before Lake Erie thwarted the run with a three-ball of their own to move up by four at 39-35.
With 7:23 to play, the Lakers were able to force the Storm in to a timeout with a jumper from sophomore Kat LaPrairie (Rockford, Mich.) that cut the Lake Erie lead to 39-37.
Following the timeout, GVSU was able to draw even with a putback by Taylor with 6:41 to play.
The teams exchanged points to a 43-43 tie, but Lake Erie took charge from there, scoring six straight points to take a 49-43 advantage with just 1:16 to play.
Following a timeout, GVSU struck quickly, getting an old-fashioned three point play from Crandall and then a layup by Taylor to cut the lead to 49-48 with only 47 seconds to play.
After the Storm converted one of two free throws, GVSU tied the game at 50 by finding Watson on a cut under the basket with 16 seconds to play.
A solid effort by the Laker defense in the final seconds resulted in a missed jumper by the Storm to send the game to overtime.
Watson took over at the beginning of the extra period, hitting a jumper and then a three-pointer only 35 seconds apart to put the Lakers up 55-50 with 4:01 to play.
The score stayed the same until 1:18 to go, when Lake Erie's Harris was able to get a layup to go to cut the Laker lead to 55-52.
With 22 seconds to play, Watson tossed in two free throws to give her nine straight points in the game and all seven Laker points in the extra frame as GVSU led 57-52. The Lakers played strong defense over the last couple seconds and were able to escape with the hard-fought victory.
Taylor led GVSU with a double-double, tallying 18 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, while going 8-for-16 from the floor and collecting three steals. Watson, who scored GVSU's last nine points in the game, finished the game with 12 points. Stelfox had a good all-around game, pouring in six points and grabbing eight rebounds to go with three steals.
Lake Erie was led by a monster game from Harris, who finished with 24 points and 22 rebounds.
The Lakers will be back home on Thursday, December 6th for an 8 p.m. tilt against Tiffin at the GVSU Fieldhouse Arena.