This Week's Schedule
Saturday, Dec. 11 – ASHLAND (6-1/1-1 GLIAC) at Lake Erie (2-3/1-1), 3 p.m.
A Quick Look at the Eagles
The Eagles enter the second week of GLIAC play with a 6-1 record, 1-1 in the conference. AU has not played since losing at Wayne State last Saturday, 77-75. This week's schedule is light – just one game at Lake Erie. This is the Storm's first year in the GLIAC. This is Ashland's third consecutive road game. Next week, the Eagles play two home games, hosting Northwood (Dec. 16) and Hillsdale (Dec. 19). After that, the Eagles embark on a two-game road trip to San Diego for the Surf and Slam Tournament (Dec. 29-30).
Head Coach Sue Ramsey
Ashland University head coach Sue Ramsey is in her 23rd season as a collegiate head coach. Her overall record is 336-315. At Ashland, Ramsey is 241-187. 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 center Daiva Gerbec (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) is the GLIAC leader in rebounds per game (10.4). She is 12th in field goal percentage (.862) and 13th in scoring (13.3 ppg.)…junior guard Jena Stutzman (Berlin, Ohio/Kent State) is fifth in the league in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and third in three-pointers per game (2.6). She is eighth in assist-turnover ratio (1.5) and tied for eighth in steals per game (14/2.0 spg.). Stutzman has 18 three-pointers…senior guard Rachel Poorman (Zanesville, Ohio/Maysville) is third on the team in scoring (11.1 ppg.) and second in rebounding (4.7 rpg.). Poorman is sixth in the GLIAC in assist-turnover ratio (1.6) and eighth in assists (28/4.0 apg.)…sophomore guard Lindsay Tenyak (Wadsworth, Ohio) scored a career-high 18 points last week at Hillsdale. Tenyak is tied for fifth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (13-of-26/.500) and she is fourth on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg.)…sophomore forward-center Beth Mantkowski (Fairlawn, Ohio/Copley) is sixth in the GLIAC in blocked shots (10/1.4 bpg.)…senior forward Liz Tyler (Monroeville, Ohio) is third on the team in rebounding (4.6 rpg.) and is averaging 8.6 ppg.
Streaks, Strings and Things
At Wayne State last Saturday, the Warriors became the first team this season to score more than 66 points against AU…the Eagles lead the GLIAC in field goal percentage defense (.328)…Ashland is third in the conference in rebound margin (+8.6) and fourth in blocked shots (29/4.1 bpg.). AU is fourth in assist-turnover ratio (0.9), field goal percentage (.463) and scoring margin (+18.6)…in the last three games, the Eagles have twice had four players reach double digits in scoring and once had five players hit double digits in scoring…the Ashland bench scored a season-high 32 points last week at Hillsdale…when AU lost to Wayne State, it snapped a five-game winning streak against the Warriors…the Eagles have won three consecutive games against Hillsdale…Stutzman has scored 20 or more points in a game twice this season…in the last three games, Ashland has outscored the opposition in the paint, 104-68...AU is allowing 57.1 ppg. A year ago the Eagles yielded 69.1 ppg.
Facts and Figures
The Welcome Wagon Can Be a Bulldozer
As a first-year GLIAC member, Lake Erie is going through the initiation process that all newcomers endure. Forget about paperwork, meetings and league workshops. Coaches want to know what the baptism on the court is going to be like.
The Lake Erie coaching staff, like all first-year coaches in a new league, has to discover the tendencies of coaches and teams and all the personnel around the league. The Storm has a little bit of an advantage in that a year ago, it played Grand Valley State , Tiffin and Ohio Dominican. Still, there is a learning curve taking place at LEC.
"I think the first thing is to understand the level of play in the conference," said Ramsey. "You have to realize that every time you go out there to play a GLIAC team it's tough, that's the hardest thing. Look at Tiffin, it took them a couple of years and now they're having a great year. Every night in the GLIAC is brutal."
In addition to learning about the other teams in the league, LEC, like any new entrant, has to discover what kind of players it needs to compete. It would appear that the Storm is doing fine in that regard. Forward Stephanie Rogers looks to be one of the top players in the league and through the early part of the season, the LEC coaching staff has used the full roster without any issues.
"They've had good guard play," Ramsey said. "You have an anchor at guard and in the post. To be able to survive life in the GLIAC you have to have some depth."
As a point of reference, Ashland joined the GLIAC in 1995-1996 and went 16-10, 10-8 in the GLIAC. That team advanced to the first round of the GLIAC playoffs where it lost to Lake Superior State, 85-65. That was Ramsey's first year on campus and Ashland was making the move to the GLIAC from the Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC).
Varied Riches from Poorman
When school began in August, Ramsey raved about the physical condition of senior guard Rachel Poorman (Zanesville, Ohio/Maysville) and predicted that she would have the best year of her career. To date, Ramsey has been an accurate prophet.
Poorman came to Ashland four years ago as one of the Eagles' top recruits. Each year, her production climbed in just about every statistical category. Like a lot of seniors, it's no surprise that Poorman is at her best at this stage of her career. She understands college basketball, what it takes to succeed and how to prepare mentally and physically.
"Her confidence is good and she understands her role," said Ramsey. "A year ago we told her to stop shooting three's. She didn't complain, she just did it. We told her that her strength was driving to the hoop and the pull-up jumper. Earlier this year in practice we were in a three-point shooting drill and Rachel wouldn't take them, she'd move inside and shoot the pull-up jumper."
That's one reason why Ramsey believes that Poorman is the ultimate team leader. Another is that throughout her career, no matter how many minutes she was getting, Poorman's enthusiasm for the game, and to improve, never faltered.
"The number one thing with Rachel has been her work ethic every single day," said Ramsey. "She was always working her hardest. Because of that, she's always had an influence with the team."
Ashland vs. Lake Erie
The Eagles lead the all-time series with the Storm, 2-0. The last time the teams met was on Nov. 20, 2007, at Kates Gymnasium and the Eagles prevailed, 95-62. The first meeting between the teams was played during the 1981-1982 season and the Eagles won, 90-25.
Scouting Lake Erie
Lake Erie is 2-3 overall, 1-1 in conference action. Last week the Storm won at Wayne State (78-72) and lost at Hillsdale (85-69). Junior forward-center Stephanie Rogers is this week's GLIAC South Division player of the week. In two games last week, the 6-1 Rogers averaged 21.5 ppg., 8.0 rpg., and 4.5 rpg. She shot 75 percent from the field and 100 percent at the free throw line. Rogers is second in the GLIAC in steals (13/2.6 spg.) and blocks (18/3.6 bpg.), third in field goal percentage (.682), sixth in scoring (15.4 ppg.) and ninth in rebounding (7.8 rpg.).
Jen Caiola, a 5-10 junior forward, is averaging 13.8 ppg. Britt Busson, a 5-7 junior guard, is averaging 9.5 ppg., and is fifth in the league in three-pointers per game (2.2). Busson's older brother, Luke, once played linebacker for the AU football team. Guard Taylor Rogers is from Ashland and Ashland High School.
The head coach of the Storm is Bob Booher. Booher is in his sixth season at LEC where his record is 58-74. A year ago, he guided Lake Erie to an 18-9 record. Before taking over at Lake Erie, Booher coached at Lakeland Community College. In six years there, he was 129-52.
The Eagles will play a pair of GLIAC teams next week. On Thursday (Dec. 16, 7:30 p.m.), Ashland hosts Northwood. On Sunday (Dec. 19, 3 p.m.), Hillsdale comes to Kates Gymnasium.