SAULT STE MARIE, Mich. - Tiffin women's basketball made the trek to the Upper Peninsula on Wednesday, but had their three-game win streak snapped as Lake Superior State defeated the Dragons 63-57.
Tiffin was able to grab a three-point lead at halftime, but LSSU used a big third quarter to take the lead and hold on for the six-point win.
The game was even in many respects, with both teams grabbing 32 rebounds and dishing out 10 assists. Tiffin had advantages in turnovers (11-15), points in the paint (30-24), and bench points (16-3), but it was at the free throw line that Lake Superior gained a large advantage of their own. The Dragons went to the line just nine times in the game, making six (66.7%), while the Lakers converted 19 of their 26 attempts (73.1%).
Two Dragons were in double figures, led by Aarion Nichols with 19 points and seven rebounds. Jasmine Watts made seven of nine shots for 16 points to go along with eight boards, while Kara Gealy and Jessica Chase both added six points. Gealy also had three assists and three steals for the Dragons.
The Lakers took an early 8-2 lead in the first quarter, but Tiffin quickly responded with a 9-4 run to cut the deficit to one on a Gealy triple, 12-11, with 4:52 to go in the opening quarter. Moments later, it was a three from Chase that found the bottom of the net and evened the score at 17, where it would stay for the remainder of the period.
It was not until the 7:31 mark of the second quarter that Tiffin took their first lead of the game, coming on a Watts layup that put the Dragons in front 24-23. Five more points from Watts and a Nichols jumper sent Tiffin on a 9-0 run that gave TU a 31-23 lead with 4:32 to go before halftime. The Dragons went cold for the rest of the half, though, not scoring over the final four minutes and holding on to a three-point advantage, 31-28, at the break.
Lake Superior State quickly made up that deficit, taking back the lead less than two minutes into the second-half. The Lakers went up by as many as 12 midway through the third, but Tiffin was able to battle back and cut it to three, 45-42, with one quarter to play.
Tiffin stayed within three for most of the fourth, but the Lakers finally pulled away with a 6-0 run with under two minutes to play. Nichols buried a triple with 12 seconds left to cut the deficit to seven, but LSSU was able to hold on for the six-point win.
Tiffin remains on the road this weekend when they travel to Saginaw Valley State on Saturday.