This Week's Schedule
Thursday, Jan. 27 – Wayne State (4-12/4-6 GLIAC) at ASHLAND (11-5/6-3), 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 29 – Findlay (12-4/7-2 GLIAC) at ASHLAND (11-5/6-3), 3 p.m.
A Quick Look at the Eagles
Second helpings are the theme of the week for the AU women's basketball team. AU is playing both Wayne State and Findlay for the second time this season. The first time around, these teams gave the Eagles a bad case of indigestion. WSU defeated the Eagles in Detroit, 77-75 on Dec. 4. Findlay outlasted the Eagles, 80-77 in double overtime on Jan. 5, at UF's Croy Gym.
Ashland is in second place in the GLIAC South Division and is fourth in the overall standings. Findlay is first in the South Division and third overall. WSU is fifth in the South Division. AU went 2-0 last week, winning at Saginaw Valley State, 79-60, and at Lake Superior State, 83-75 in overtime. This Thursday's game is Pack the House Night at Kates Gymnasium. There are a number of promotions surrounding this game. For more information, call the AU sports marketing office, 419-289-5954.
Both games this week can be heard live on WNCO (1340 AM) with Ken Carman on the call. Thursday night's game will be broadcast by SportsTime Ohio and shown on a tape-delay basis. The game will air on Friday at 1 a.m., 7 a.m., and 4 p.m., and Saturday at 12 a.m. Matt Brubaker will handle the play-by-play with Ken Dworznik providing the analysis. The campus radio station, WRDL-FM (88.9), will broadcast both the WSU and Findlay games live.
Head Coach Sue Ramsey
Ashland University head coach Sue Ramsey is in her 23rd season as a collegiate head coach. Her overall record is 341-319. At Ashland, Ramsey is 246-191. This is her 16th season at AU. Ramsey is the program's career leader in victories and she has guided the Eagles to the NCAA Division II playoffs twice (2003-04, 2005-06). She is the only coach in the program's history to lead the Eagles to the Division II playoffs. Ramsey's 2003-04 team won a school record 23 games.
Prior to arriving at AU, Ramsey spent eight seasons as the head coach at the University of Dayton (1986-1994). The AU head coach is a 1978 Miami (OH) graduate. She earned her master's degree from Dayton in 1988.
Eye on the Eagles
Sophomore forward-center Daiva Gerbec (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) is this week's GLIAC South Division player of the week. Gerbec had a pair of double-doubles (points-rebounds) last week. She had 14 points and 12 rebounds at Saginaw Valley State last Thursday and followed that up with 13 points, 19 rebounds and two steals at Lake Superior State last Saturday. For the week, Gerbec averaged 13.5 ppg., 15.5 rpg., 1.5 steals per and shot 54.5 percent from the floor. Gerbec has eight double-doubles this season and she has had 16 or more rebounds in a game four times. This is the second time this season Gerbec has been named the GLIAC South Division player of the week (she was also named on Dec. 20). Gerbec is the league's leading rebounder (10.7 rpg.). She is the only player in the league averaging in double digits in rebounds. Gerbec is 16th in the country in rebounds per game. She is averaging 14.4 ppg., 10.7 rpg., and is shooting 86.1 percent at the free throw line. The sophomore is fifth in the conference in free throw percentage and 12th in scoring…junior guard Jena Stutzman (Berlin, Ohio/Kent State) is second in the GLIAC in scoring (17.4 ppg.). She is the conference leader in free throw percentage (.927/38-of-41). Stutzman is the only player among the GLIAC leaders shooting 90 percent at the line. Stutzman is second in three-pointers per game (2.6). Stutzman has three games this year where she's scored 29 or more points. In her last three games, she has averaged 22.3 ppg…at Lake Superior State, Stutzman was 12-for-12 at the free throw line. Over the last five games, she is 25-of-26 (96.1 percent) at the charity stripe At LSSU, Stutzman set AU season highs for free throws made and attempted in a game…sophomore guard Lindsay Tenyak (Wadsworth, Ohio) exploded for a career-high 27 points at Saginaw Valley State. Tenyak was 10-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-6 from three-point range. In the last three games, Tenyak is 8-of-10 on three-point shots. Tenyak is second on the team in three-point field goals (24-of-48) and she's second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.500). A year ago, Tenyak shot 36.5 percent (19-of-52) from three-point range…senior guard Rachel Poorman (Zanesville, Ohio/Maysville) is seventh in the conference in assist-turnover ratio (1.3) and is ninth in assists (3.5 apg.). Poorman scored 12 points at Lake Superior State. That's her highest scoring output since she scored 12 points at Lake Erie (Dec. 11, 2010)…senior forward Liz Tyler (Monroeville, Ohio) is fourth on the team in scoring (8.6 ppg.) and is AU's second leading rebounder (5.2 rpg.).
Streaks, Strings and Things
AU has won three consecutive games. That's the Eagles' longest winning streak since they opened the season with six consecutive wins…the Eagles are averaging 76.0 ppg., in their 11 wins. Ashland has two wins this season when scoring less than 70 points – at Walsh on Nov. 23 (66-53) and at home against Northwood on Dec. 16 (62-60). AU hasn't scored less than 73 points since a 64-48 loss to Assumption on Dec. 28…the Eagles are 1-4 in games decided by three points or less…Ashland's non-conference record is 5-2…AU has outrebounded the opposition in three straight games.
Facts and Figures
- In conference games, Stutzman is averaging 18.8 ppg., the second best figure in the league. Gerbec is averaging 16.1 ppg., in conference play, which puts her sixth in the loop. In nine conference games, Gerbec is averaging 11.2 rpg.
- AU has held five teams this season to 53 points or less.
- AU is the GLIAC leader in scoring (74.1 ppg.), is second in free throw percentage (77.5) and field goal percentage defense (35.1) and is third in scoring margin (+11.3), three-point field field goal percentage (37.8), three-point percentage defense (28.7) and rebound margin (+5.2).
- Beth Mantkowski (Fairlawn, Ohio/Copley) blocked six shots last week at Saginaw Valley State. The school single-game record for rejections is nine, by Krista Thornell in 1998 against Alabama-Huntsville.
- Four players – Stutzman, Gerbec, Poorman and Tyler – have started every game this season.
- Last week's overtime game at Lake Superior State was AU's second of the season. The last time the Eagles had two overtime games in a season was 2003-04.
- The Eagles are eighth in the nation in free throw percentage (77.5 percent). They are 21st in field goal percentage defense (35.1 percent).
- Ashland is 3-1 this month. A year ago, the Eagles were 7-3 in January.
Ashland vs. Wayne State
AU leads the all-time series with the Warriors, 27-13. December's loss in Detroit snapped a five-game AU win streak against WSU. A year ago, the Eagles downed the Warriors at Kates Gymnasium, 67-58. WSU's last win in Ashland came during the 2006-07 season, 60-54.
In this year's first game, Ashland shot 54.9 percent from the floor, 61.5 percent (16-of-26) in the second half. AU went 14-of-17 (82.4 percent) at the free throw line. Turnovers derailed the Eagles in the first meeting. They had 19 turnovers (WSU had 10) and the Warriors outscored AU, 25-8 in points off of turnovers. The Warriors only outrebounded the Eagles, 34-33, but they grabbed 15 caroms off the offensive glass, which helped them roll up a 17-4 edge in points off of turnovers. WSU scored the winning hoop with one second left in regulation, Amelia Davis following a miss by Tyler Hardy to net the game winner. Davis had 10 points, four assists and three steals. The win was WSU's first of the season.
Stutzman had a team-high 19 points, six assists and two steals in the first meeting. She tied the game, 75-75, on a three-pointer with 23 seconds remaining in regulation. Poorman had 12 points and six rebounds. Gerbec finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Scouting Wayne State
This is a different WSU team than the one the Eagles saw in December. Several players who played key roles in that game will not make the trip to Ashland. WSU comes to town with losses in five of its last six games. The only win in that stretch came against Ohio Dominican, 72-55. In that game, 5-10 sophomore guard Phaebre Colbert had 21 points and 11 rebounds. Deanna Crumpton, a 5-10 sophomore forward, is averaging 8.1 ppg., and 4.8 rpg. In the first meeting with the Eagles, she had 22 points (9-of-14 from the floor) and seven rebounds.
WSU is third in the GLIAC in steals (148/9.3 spg.). Don't look for the Warriors to utilize the three-point shot – they are 14th in the conference in three-pointers (61/3.8 per game).
Gloria Bradley is in her 11th season as the WSU head coach. In 2003, she directed the Warriors to their only NCAA Division II postseason appearance.
Ashland vs. Findlay
The lead in the all-time series belongs to Ashland, 17-13. The teams have split the season series each of the last two years. A year ago, Findlay won in Ashland, 71-50. The Oilers have won their last two games at Ashland. The last time the Eagles upended the Oilers at Kates Gymnasium was during the 2007-08 season, 71-58.
This year's first game was a rough-and-tumble affair that finally went to the Oilers, 80-77 in double overtime. Ashland had a 31-27 lead at the intermission, but was outscored, 37-33 in the second half. The teams were tied, 64-64 after 40 minutes. In the first overtime period, both teams scored two points. This game was tied 14 times and the lead changed hands 18 times. The loss broke a five-game Ashland winning streak at Croy Gymnasium.
Gerbec had 28 points and 16 rebounds in this year's first game. She's played three career games against Findlay and has never failed to record a twin killing. Stutzman had 15 points in the first game. Stutzman played all 50 minutes and Poorman logged 48 minutes.
Gerbec vs. the Oilers
Here's Gerbec's game-by-game numbers against Findlay. In her career against the Oilers she has averaged 20.7 ppg., and 13.7 ppg.
Date/Place Points Rebounds Court
Jan. 5, 2011 28 16 at Findlay
Feb. 25, 2010 10 11 at Ashland
Jan. 23, 2010 24 14 at Findlay
Laura Bardall, a 5-11 junior guard, is UF's leading scorer at 15.4 ppg. She's sixth in the conference in scoring. Bardall collects 5.9 rpg. The junior is seventh in the GLIAC in three-point field goal percentage (.449) and assists (65/4.1 apg.). She's ninth in field goal percentage (52.8).
Clare Aubry, a 5-9 junior guard, produces 14.7 ppg., and 3.5 apg. Aubry is eighth in the conference in scoring. She's also sixth in free throw percentage (85.7). Saira House, a 5-7 freshman guard, is second in the league in steals (36/2.3 spg.). Kaitlyn Nelson, a 6-4 junior forward, is fifth in the loop in blocks (26/1.6 bpg.). Nelson blocked seven shots against the Eagles in this year's first game. She also scored 24 points, had 17 rebounds and four steals. Aubry had 21 points. Bardall and House scored 10 points each.
Findlay will play at Lake Erie on Thursday (Jan. 27). The Oilers will enter that game with victories in five of their last six games. The only loss during that time was an 86-46 setback to Hillsdale on Jan. 20.
In the GLIAC
The league puzzle continues to take shape, but there is still a long way to go before everything fits into place.
In the North Division, Michigan Tech (14-2/9-1) sits in first place. Last Saturday, Tech flexed its muscles against Grand Valley State (13-4/7-4), winning 84-64. GVSU, which is ranked 22nd in the nation, is in third place in the North. Lake Superior State (11-5/8-2) has climbed into second place. Tech is ranked 10th in the country. Last week also saw resurgent Ferris State go 2-0. The Bulldogs handed Tech its first conference loss of the season, 63-60 at FSU. Ferris State (9-8/5-6) is in fourth place in the North.
In the South, Findlay is first, AU is second and Hillsdale (12-4/6-4) is third. Tiffin (11-6/6-5) is in fourth place and is the last team in the South on the plus side of .500.
This coming Saturday (Jan. 29), Hillsdale plays at Michigan Tech and Ferris State will visit Grand Valley State. Those are two of the best matchups of the week, along with the Ashland-Findlay contest.
Cool Head, Hot Hand
As much as any player on the roster, Tenyak has lifted her game to a new level in 2010-11. She's getting 16.3 minutes per game off the bench and has established herself as a player who can bring a full head of steam onto the floor at the most critical time. Tenyak's poise under pressure has assured her playing time at the most critical stages in a game.
"I think the biggest difference for Lindsay from last year is confidence," said Ramsey. "She takes a lot of pride in being a person that comes off the bench and produces. She has all the intangibles. We saw that in high school. We saw it some last year, but not on a consistent basis."
Tenyak is second in the conference in three-point field goal percentage, which is a surprise to the AU coaches.
"Definitely, the biggest surprise is her three-point shooting," Ramsey said. "That wasn't part of her repertoire in high school. Back then, she was driving to the basket. She's worked hard on her three-point shooting."
While that shooting touch has gotten most of the attention when the subject turns to Tenyak, Ramsey says that her game has grown in other areas as well.
"I look at the fact that she comes in and gives us extra possessions," Ramsey said. "She gives us extra possessions with her hustle plays. She gets her hands on rebounds and loose balls. She's really improved her defense and she has good size for the wing."
First Order of Business in the Second Half
The season has now reached the second half and coaches have a pretty good idea of what they have. By this stage of the season, patterns have become clear, for both teams and individual players. Ramsey has no problem identifying the biggest difference between this team and the one that went 14-14 last year.
"When I look at last year and this year, it's like night and day," remarked Ramsey. "There were some games where we didn't have our defense in place, but I think it's there. I also think the strength of this team is realizing it's a team. Each player has a clear understanding of her role. They enjoy their roles."
Ramsey believes that for the Eagles to continue to move forward in the second half, one or two players need to emerge as consistent scoring threats that can score 10 to 12 points a game. Right now, Stutzman and Gerbec are givens in that regard. But, they need help.
"It can be someone different each night, but we need two more in double figures," said Ramsey.
In the first games this year against Wayne State and Findlay, turnovers played a major role in the Eagles' undoing. In those two games, AU had 37 turnovers.
"That's still a concern," admitted Ramsey. "We've always been a transition team, so you live with a few more turnovers. But I don't accept it with this team. I think we've had more turnovers in the half court than in the transition game."
Next Thursday (Feb. 3, 7:30 p.m.), the Eagles host Ohio Dominican. That's the first of two meetings this season between AU and ODU. This is ODU's first season in the league. Next Saturday (Feb. 5, 3 p.m.), Ashland will play at Tiffin.