THE TURNING POINT: Senior guard Boo Osborne hit four free throws in the final 17 seconds to clinch the victory.
STAT OF THE GAME: Starting the game 2-for-5 from the foul line, the Eagles hit 15 of their last 17.
In yet another close Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference road game, Ashland University's men's basketball team continued its recent winning ways with a 76-74 victory at Lake Erie on Thursday (Jan. 19) night.
The Eagles improve to 11-6 overall and 6-5 in the GLIAC following their fifth victory in the last six games and fourth in a row. AU is 1 1/2 games behind first-place Findlay in the GLIAC South Division.
Ashland's three GLIAC road wins this season have been by eight, one and two points.
The Storm are 3-16, 2-9.
Senior guard Boo Osborne led the way for Ashland with 15 points, including an 11-for-12 showing from the free-throw line. He added four rebounds and four assists.
Junior forward Marsalis Hamilton posted his second straight strong game with 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting, six rebounds and one turnover in 25 minutes. Senior guard Adrian Cook added a dozen points on 6-of-9 shooting, while sophomore guard Ben Haraway added 10 points.
Ashland forced 16 Storm turnovers, resulting in 21 points.
Neither team pulled away early, as Ashland led 11-9 with 13:31 to go in the half. The Eagles began to extend their lead shortly thereafter, going up by nine at 23-14.
Lake Erie went on a 15-5 run to take a 29-28 lead, but Ashland regained momentum by scoring six straight points. After the game's first 20 minutes, the Eagles led 34-32, thanks to an offensive showing with included 50-percent shooting from the field and just four turnovers.
Hamilton scored 10 points and was 5-of-6 from the floor in the first half.
The see-saw affair turned in the favor of Lake Erie early in the second half, as the Storm scored six points in a row to start, and eventually led 44-38 at the 16-minute mark. Ashland rallied once again, this time in the form of a 12-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from senior forward Torin Wetzel.
Halfway through the second half, the Eagles led 54-48. That, however, set up another Storm run, 8-3, to cut the AU lead to one. Haraway put a stop to that with a four-point play with 7:44 to go to make it a 61-56 advantage.
Lake Erie worked it back to a tie game at 65 with 5:15 remaining, then Ashland scored five points in a row. Clinging to a 72-70 lead in the final seconds, the Eagles finished off the win thanks to four Osborne hits from the charity stripe.
UP NEXT: Saturday (Jan. 21) at 1 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium against Ohio Mid-Western in the final regular-season non-conference game of 2016-17.