Ashland University Women's Basketball - Report 8

This Week's Schedule

Thursday, Feb. 3 – Ohio Dominican (5-13/3-9 GLIAC) at ASHLAND (12-6/7-4), 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 5 – ASHLAND (12-6/7-4) at Tiffin (12-8/6-7), 3 p.m.

A Quick Look at the Eagles

            The GLIAC race is entering the final month of the season and most every game has postseason implications.  Ashland went 1-1 last week and enters this week in second place in the GLIAC South Division and fifth in the overall standings.   Last Thursday (Jan. 27) at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles downed Wayne State, 81-61.  On Saturday (Jan. 29), AU lost in overtime to Findlay, 81-73.

            The top eight teams in the conference will advance to the league playoffs. The top four seeds host first round games.  This week, AU sees Ohio Dominican for the first time this season.  After that Thursday night home game, the Eagles go to Tiffin. AU defeated the Dragons in the first meeting this season.

            Ashland was ranked eighth in the region last week.  The top eight teams in the region at the end of the season will earn invitations to the NCAA Division II playoffs.  Last week was the first time the NCAA released regional rankings.

Flight Patterns

            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 live on the campus radio station, WRDL-FM (88.9).

Head Coach Sue Ramsey

            Ashland University head coach Sue Ramsey is in her 23rd season as a collegiate head coach. Her overall record is 342-320.  At Ashland, Ramsey is 247-192. 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) has established herself as one of the top front-court players in the conference.  Gerbec is the GLIAC's leading rebounder (10.9 rpg.) and she's eighth in scoring (14.9 ppg.).  She's fifth in free throw percentage (.857) and 11th in field goal percentage (.493).  Gerbec has 10 double-doubles (points-rebounds) this season and she has recorded a double-double in six consecutive games.  In two games last week, she averaged 19.0 ppg., and 13.0 rpg.  Gerbec scored 27 points in last Thursday's win over Wayne State.  That's her fourth 20-point game of the year.  That is also her second-highest point total of the season, trailing only the 28 points she scored at Findlay (Jan. 5).  Gerbec is 14th in the nation in rebounding and 28th in free throw percentage…sophomore guard Lindsay Tenyak (Wadsworth, Ohio) is third in the GLIAC in three-point field goal percentage (.481).  Tenyak scored a team-high 14 points in last Saturday's game against Findlay. She is averaging 7.8 ppg…Tenyak has averaged 4.5 rpg., over her last four games. Twice during that span she has pulled down her season-high of six boards…sophomore forward-center Beth Mantkowski (Fairlawn, Ohio/Copley) averaged 13.0 ppg., and 6.0 rpg., in two games last week.  Mantkowski scored a season-high 15 points in last week's game against Wayne State.  In two games last week, the sophomore shot 84.6 percent (11-of-13) from the floor…junior guard Jena Stutzman (Berlin, Ohio/Kent State) is tied for second in the GLIAC in scoring (16.2 ppg.).  She's first in free throw percentage (.927) and second in three-point field goals per game (2.4).  Stutzman suffered a leg injury in the first half of last Saturday's game against Findlay…senior guard Rachel Poorman (Zanesville, Ohio/Maysville) is third on the team in scoring (8.9 ppg.) and rebounding (4.1 rpg.).  She is the team leader in assists (59/3.3 apg.).

 Streaks, Strings and Things

            Last Saturday's loss to Findlay ended a four-game Ashland winning streak.  That was AU's first loss since dropping an 80-77 decision at Findlay on Jan. 5…AU is 6-2 at home this season with the losses coming to Hillsdale and Findlay.  A year ago, the Eagles were 9-6 at Kates Gymnasium…Ashland has played three overtime games this season.  That's the most since the Eagles went to overtime three times during the 2001-02 season…AU is 1-2 in overtime this season…AU has outrebounded the enemy in five consecutive games.  Twice in that streak, the Eagles have outrebounded the opposition by more than 10 rebounds (+14 at Lake Superior State, +11 vs. Tiffin)…AU hasn't scored less than 73 points in seven consecutive games. The Eagles haven't been below that figure since losing to Assumption on Dec. 28, 64-48. 

 Facts and Figures

  • In two games last week, freshman guard Alyssa Miller (Zanesville, Ohio/Tri-Valley) had 10 assists and five turnovers.  In her last four games, Miller is averaging 3.3 apg.
  • AU has held five teams this season to 53 points or less.
  • In last week's games against Wayne State and Findlay, AU led in points in the paint, 82-42.
  • AU had five players score in double digits last week against Wayne State. That's the second time this season the Eagles had five players reach double digits in scoring. The other time was at Hillsdale on Dec. 2.  AU beat the Chargers by 19 points and WSU by 20 points.
  • Three players – Stutzman, Gerbec and Poorman – have started every game this season. 
  • The Eagles lead the GLIAC in scoring (74.4 ppg.).  Ashland is second in field goal percentage defense (.355) and free throw percentage (.780) and third in scoring margin (+10.7), assists (15.6 apg.) and rebound margin (+5.4).
  • Ashland is ranked fifth in the country in free throw percentage.  AU is 28th in scoring, 30th in field goal percentage defense and 31st in field goal percentage (.446).

Full-Time Defense After Halftime

            Over the last five games, AU has played some stifling defense after halftime. Only one team has managed to shoot over 30 percent in the second half against the Eagles (doesn't include overtime at Lake Superior State and against Findlay). The chart below shows how the Eagles have done defensively in the second half in their last five games.

Date                Opponent                   FG%-Opp.     2nd Half Points Allowed

Jan. 13             Tiffin                           24.1                 20

Jan.20              at Saginaw Valley       23.5                 25

Jan. 22             at Lake Superior          26.7                 26

Jan. 27             Wayne State                29.4                 28

Jan. 29             Findlay                        46.4                 39

Ashland vs. Ohio Dominican

            AU holds an 8-1 edge in the all-time series.  Thursday's game will be the first meeting between the teams since the 1986-87 season when AU stopped ODU, 89-57.  Ohio Dominican's lone win against the Eagles came in 1984-85 by a 72-58 count.  In 1974-75, the Eagles posted a 72-29 victory over ODU.  That is one of the lowest point totals the Eagles have ever allowed. It is not, however, the lowest.  The school record is 15 points vs. Baldwin-Wallace on Jan. 30, 1975.

Scouting Ohio Dominican

            The Panthers are 5-13 overall and 3-9 in the GLIAC.  ODU is in sixth place in the GLIAC South Division.  Last Saturday, ODU downed Saginaw Valley State, 72-61 and that broke a four-game losing streak.

            This is the program's first year in the GLIAC.  The Panthers were 16-11 last year.  Nathan Bellman is in his fifth season as the ODU head coach.  His record at the school is 82-57.  In 2007-08 and 2008-09, Bellman guided the Panthers to the NAIA national tournament. Both years, ODU won the American Mideast Conference Tournament Championship.

            Summer Hale, a 5-11 senior forward, is ODU's leading scorer at 9.1 ppg.  She's bringing down 6.6 rpg., which is 13th in the GLIAC.  Tracy Snider, a 5-10 junior guard, averages 8.6 ppg.  She's eighth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.414).  Melissa Hersey, a 5-4 senior guard, is third in the GLIAC in assists (4.6 apg.) and fourth in assist-turnover ratio (1.7).

            The Panthers lead the GLIAC in three-point percentage defense (.274).  They are third in three-point field goals (116/6.4 per game).       

Ashland vs. Tiffin

            The Eagles have never lost to the Dragons.  Ashland leads the series, 13-0.  Earlier this season at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles downed the Dragons, 73-41.  Last season at Tiffin, AU won, 65-53.

            In this season's first game, AU outrebounded the Dragons, 44-33 and forced 22 turnovers.  The Eagles were in front, 38-21 at halftime.  Tiffin shot 26.7 percent (16-of-60) from the field.  Stutzman paced the Eagles with 31 points and Gerbec had 13 points and 12 rebounds. The 41 points the Eagles allowed the Dragons is a season low.

Scouting Tiffin

            The Dragons ventured out of conference to play Central State on Monday (Jan. 31) and broke a three-game winning streak with an 89-80 win.  Before that outburst, Tiffin has been held to 54 points or less in its last four games.

            Tiffin is the GLIAC leader in steals with 205 (10.8 spg.). The Dragons are the only team in the conference with more than 200 thefts.  Tiffin is also the conference leader in turnover margin (+8.21) and assist-turnover ratio (1.1).

            Much of Tiffin's scoring comes from 5-3 junior guard Mandy Jaeb. She is seventh in the conference in scoring (15.1 ppg.)  Jaeb is also sixth in free throw percentage (.845) and tied for eighth in steals (35/1.8 spg.). Ashland held her to eight points (3-of-12 shooting) in the first game.

            Karli Mast, a 5-6 sophomore guard, averages 12.2 ppg.  Jessica Harris, a 6-1 sophomore forward, is sixth in the conference in rebounding (7.8 rpg.) and tied for sixth in steals (39/2.1 spg.). She averages 8.9 ppg.  Holly Focke, a 5-7 junior guard, is averaging 5.2 rpg., and 3.3 apg. She's third in assist-turnover ratio (1.1).      

In the GLIAC

            Ashland begins the week in second place in the GLIAC South Division and fifth in the overall standings. The top four teams in the conference will host first round GLIAC Tournament games.

            Michigan Tech has the best league record – 11-1.  The Huskies are 16-2 overall and are in first place in the GLIAC North Division.  Lake Superior State is 13-5 and 10-2 and Findlay is 14-4 and 9-2.  Findlay leads the GLIAC South Division.

            There are several interesting matchups on this week's slate.  On Thursday (Feb. 3), Michigan Tech plays at Findlay.  Saturday (Feb. 5), Grand Valley State plays at Lake Superior State. GVSU is 15-4 and 8-4 in conference action.  Grand Valley State was ranked 22nd in the country last week and Michigan Tech was 10th.  GVSU has won four of its last five games, but  plays its next four games on the road.  If MTU finishes the regular season as the top seed, it will host throughout the playoffs.  Tech currently has a 24-game home winning streak.       

On Deck

            Next week finds the Eagles back at Kates Gymnasium for two games. On Thursday (Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m.), the Eagles host Grand Valley State. On Saturday (Feb. 12, 3 p.m.), Ferris State will invade Kates Gymnasium.