Eagle Men Continue Home Success, Top Storm, 93-73

Eagle Men Continue Home Success, Top Storm, 93-73


THE TURNING POINT: Leading 23-16 nine minutes into the game, Ashland outscored Lake Erie 29-11 for the remainder of the first half.

STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles hit 60.0 percent from the field, 60.0 percent from the 3-point line and 60.0 from the free-throw line.

The cures for what briefly ailed Ashland University's men's basketball team were rest and playing at Kates Gymnasium.

Snapping a modest two-game losing streak on Thursday (Feb. 9) night, the Eagles defeated Lake Erie at home, 93-73, to improve to 15-8 overall and 10-7 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

"Our guys earned it tonight. They did a good job," said Ashland head coach John Ellenwood. "I thought the first half, we did a good job just imposing our will. We've got to still focus on getting better on every possession."

A game after posting a season-low 55 points at Hillsdale, the Eagles' 93 points on Thursday was their second-best output of 2016-17.

Ashland is in a three-way tie at No. 5 in the overall GLIAC standings, one game behind both Lake Superior State and Michigan Tech for a home 2017 GLIAC Tournament quarterfinal on Feb. 28.

The Eagles are 34-9 (.791) at home since the start of the 2014-15 season.

The Storm are 4-21, 3-14.

There were several significant statistics to come out of Thursday night's game, beginning with senior guard Adrian Cook's 23 points and seven assists on 10-of-11 shooting from the field in 28 minutes. Cook moves to 978 career points – 22 shy of becoming the 26th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark.

"It feels good," Cook said. "In the second half, coaches wanted me to be aggressive, teammates wanted me to be aggressive. I was really efficient, so I'm really happy with that, as well.

"I love getting my teammates open, as well, so that felt just as good as the 23 points."

Cook led four Eagles in double-digit scoring. Sophomore guard Ben Haraway posted 15 points to go with five assists, sophomore guard Nick Bapst came off the bench for 14 points and freshman center Drew Noble, in his first collegiate start, chipped in with 13 points and nine boards.

Ashland had the perhaps-once-in-a-lifetime stat line of 60-percent shooting from the field, 3-point range and the free-throw line in the same game. AU's 15 triples were a season best, and the most for the team since hitting 16 at Lake Superior State on Jan. 26, 2008.

The Eagles also had 22 assists to just seven turnovers.

For Lake Erie, Nick Wells led the way with 19 points.

In the first nine minutes, Ashland led 23-16, but turned up the offensive heat for the rest of the first half, going into the break leading 52-27. The Eagles shot 65.5 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes, including a white-hot 10-of-13 from downtown.

The second half was primarily academic, with Ashland taking its biggest lead of 30 points early on.

UP NEXT: The first set of Division II Midwest Regional rankings on Wednesday (Feb. 15). The next game is Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at home against Walsh (14-9, 7-9).