The Ashland University men's basketball team had its season-opening 13-game winning streak snapped on Thursday (Jan. 10) night at Parkside, 68-61. It was the first ever meeting between the Eagles and the first-year GLIAC program.
The Eagles (13-1, 6-1 GLIAC), ranked No. 6 in the NABC Division II coaches' poll, will settle for the second-best start in the 98-year history of the men's basketball program. Only the 1990-91 squad won more games (15) to start a season.
Ashland trailed most of the night, but had a chance to take the lead with less than two minutes to play. Junior guard Rodrick Caldwell buried a step-back 3-pointer to cut the Eagles' deficit to 60-59. AU then got a stop, but a turnover and transition basket for Brandon Trimble pushed Parkside ahead, 62-59.
Caldwell then missed on the other end and junior center Drew Noble matched another Trimble layup to cut it to 64-61, but Trimble again hit a deep off-balance jumper to give the Rangers (6-7, 4-3 GLIAC) a 66-61 lead with 21 seconds left.
Ashland had two 3-point attempts on their next trip, but came up empty as Parkside handed Ashland its first loss. The Rangers have beaten the last three ranked teams they have played, including No. 1 Bellarmine and No. 25 William Jewell last season.
The Rangers never led by more than eight points in the game. The hosts had a 26-18 lead with five minutes to play in the first half before the Eagles rattled off a 15-4 run that included three and-one opportunities for senior guard Ben Haraway and a Noble 3-pointer. The Eagles led, 33-30, with a minute left in the half, but Trimble's 3-pointer tied the game going into halftime.
Noble led all five starters in double figures with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists and four steals. Caldwell added 13 points and three assists and Haraway scored all 11 of his points in the first half.
The Eagles uncharacteristically turned the ball over 18 times, matching a season high. AU owned a 33-24 edge on the glass.
Chavares Flanigan paced the Rangers with 25 points on 10-for-14 shooting to go with four rebounds, three assists and six steals while Trimble scored 24 points off the bench. Parkside was the first team to out-shoot the Eagles and the only team to shoot 50 percent from the floor against Ashland this season.
The Eagles will look to start a new winning streak on Saturday (Jan. 12) when they travel to Purdue Northwest for a 2 p.m. ET tip-off.