Tiffin shows supremecy against Lake Superior State

Even with her team up 13 with less than five minutes left, Tiffin University coach Pam Oswald didn’t feel that secure.

She knew a Lake Superior State run was coming.

After all, the Lakers couldn’t shoot this bad for the whole game, right?

It wasn’t as though the Dragons were on fire offensively (they managed just seven baskets on 31 attempts in the first half), but they were Venus compared to Lake Superior State.

The Lakers missed 23 of their first 26 shots Saturday. They trailed 17-16 at halftime, and things were so bad that coach Shannon Eggers approached TU broadcaster Russ Snyder at halftime and asked if her team had set some kind of record when it was 4 for 30 from the floor.

But the Lakers came in 3-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, so Oswald knew their 7-for-53 effort over the game’s first 35 minutes was an aberration, and a run was coming.

But when it did, she had senior leader Jillian Adams to push TU over the finish line.

Paced by four baskets from Raven Trammell – which made up her eight points on the day – the Lakers did rally, getting within 44-41 when she hit a driving layup with 2:03 left in regulation.

But behind Adams, who tied for the team lead with 12 points to go with six rebounds and three assists, Tiffin held on, winning its second-straight GLIAC game, 54-44.

“Our players kind of weathered the storm,” Oswald said. “I felt like our players were at least able to keep us afloat.”

Adams was, essentially, the navigator. After Bre Nauman and Katie Miller each hit a pair of free throws to give TU a 48-43 advantage, with about 50 seconds left, Nauman found herself back at the line.

She missed both foul shots, but Adams crashed in, snared the second miss, and was fouled as she crashed out of bounds.

Adams made both ensuing foul shots, basically putting the game out of reach.

“I’m glad (the defender) fouled me,” Adams said.

And with good reason. Adams finished the game 8 for 9 from the stripe.

“We were striving to make a statement,” she said. “We had to go out and keep pushing.”

“She’s playing with a purpose,” Oswald said of Adams. “She plays with heart and hustle.”

Tiffin also was led by Jordan Fraley’s 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

The Dragons out-rebounded the Lakers 48-45, with Anya Misko collecting a team-high 12 boards.

“We had to do what coach said, we had to dominate inside,” Fraley said. “It’s really exciting to see us get over that hump.”

On a day when Karli Mast struggled offensively (2 points, 5 boards), TU got plenty of contributions. Nauman had nine points, Miller added eight and Misko had seven.

“[We’re] seeing other people step up,” Oswald said. “It doesn’t always have to be Karli.”

Tiffin improved to 5-7, 2-6 in the GLIAC. It was a promising stretch after six straight losses. Up next is two key games: Thursday at Hillsdale and next Saturday at home against Findlay.

“We need a good week of practice,” Fraley said. “We need to stay focused.”

Lake Superior State (3-11, 3-5) was paced by Alexandra Morrow, who had 12 points and 12 boards, and by April LaCross, who had 10 points and 10 rebounds.