Christmas is less than three weeks away, but Ashland University basketball fans are going to get an early present this week.
On Thursday (Dec. 8) night at Kates Gymnasium, the No. 2-ranked Eagle women (8-0 overall, 2-0 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) will play host to Saginaw Valley State (6-1, 2-0) at 5:30, then the AU men (6-1, 2-0) will take on the No. 2-ranked Cardinals (8-0, 2-0) at 7:30.
The Thursday twinbill features four teams with a combined record of 28-2 overall and 8-0 in the GLIAC.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – Ashland comes into the week – Thursday's game and the home contest on Saturday (Dec. 10) at 1 p.m. against Wayne State (4-3, 2-0) – on a 14-game regular-season winning streak and a 30-game home regular-season winning streak.
ONE TO WATCH: Freshman guard Jodi Johnson is averaging 15 points, five rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals per game, while hitting 28-of-29 free throws, in the last four contests.
MEN'S BASKETBALL (LINK) – The Eagles will play two games at home this week – Thursday against SVSU and Saturday at 3 p.m. vs. the Warriors (5-1, 2-0). Ashland has won five straight games overall, and is 28-6 in its last 34 games at "The Kates."
Roger Lyons, the winningest head coach in AU men's basketball history, will be honored prior to Thursday's contest.
ONE TO WATCH: In the two road wins last week against Lake Superior State and Northwood, junior center Teddy Metzen scored 22 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the floor.
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD (LINK) – Just as soon as the 2016-17 season began for the No. 6-ranked Ashland men and women, the first-semester portion of the campaign ends on Friday (Dec. 9) and Saturday at the Kent State Golden Flash Gala. The Eagles will get back to action after this weekend on Jan. 6 at the Ohio State Buckeye Classic.
ONE TO WATCH: Junior Haley Gregory earned two provisional marks for 2017 NCAA Division II indoor nationals at the Tiffin Alumni Open on Saturday (Dec. 3) – 7.68 seconds in the 60-meter dash and 8.71 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles.