Patience is a virtue. Indecision is an indiscretion.
Too many times on Friday night (Mar. 15) in a first round NCAA Division II Midwest Region women's basketball game at Kates Gymnasium, the Indianapolis Greyhounds took their time. The second-ranked Ashland University Eagles took the game, 70-56.
The win sends the Eagles (32-1) into the second round of the tournament. On Saturday (Mar. 16, 7:30 p.m.) the Eagles will play Michigan Tech. Michigan Tech advanced with a 79-67 win over Kentucky Wesleyan in Friday's late game. Saturday's first game (5 p.m.) has Wayne State playing Wisconsin-Parkside. On Friday, WSU outlasted Findlay and UWP defeated second-seeded Lewis.
Friday's loss ended the season for Indianapolis.
The Eagles are the top seed in this tournament and they showed why with another virtuoso defensive performance. All night, Indianapolis fought to find an open shot. Possession after possession found the Greyhounds (19-10) trying to hoist a shot in the final seconds of the shot clock.
The Eagles limited all-region guard Katy McIntosh to five points (2-of-10 shooting). Another first team all-region guard, Kristin Turner, had 17 points (6-of-15 from the floor).
"That's the best I've seen anyone lock down McIntosh," said AU head coach Sue Ramsey. "I thought our players, defensively, were really in place today.
"We respect every opponent and fear no one," continued Ramsey. "When you have a team that plays team defense, you're in pretty good shape."
"They did a lot of switching, which was smart from their end," said Turner. "That was different for us."
The Greyhounds shot 33.3 percent (21-of-63) from the floor. Ashland out-rebounded Indianapolis, 48-34 and led in second chance points, 14-1. The only time the Greyhounds had the lead was when they scored the first basket of the game. At halftime, AU was ahead, 41-27. That makes for tough sledding against an Ashland team allowing 53.7 ppg.
"Obviously, it was a tough loss," said Indianapolis head coach Constantin Popa. "But Ashland is a pretty good team. There's a reason they are where they are. They played a great game. We had no answers at times. We had a game plan in place. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. They won just about every category on the score box. We pretty much lost to a better team tonight."
AU's inside tandem of Kari Daugherty (Fresno, Ohio/Dayton) and Daiva Gerbec (Dublin, Ohio/Bishop Watterson) tormented the Greyhounds all night. Daugherty was poked in the eye in the first half. Maybe she was seeing double. Her numbers were double-double, 31 points and 14 rebounds. That's her 20th twin killing of the year.
Gerbec had 14 points, 14 rebounds and rejected three shots. Thanks to Daugherty and Gerbec, AU led in points in the paint, 26-10. The Eagles had 14 offensive rebounds.
"They know how to play within the system," noted Popa. "They're patience and they let things develop for them. They really know where to go and who needs to get the ball."
"The inside game was really working today," noted Gerbec. "That was where we were scoring.
AU shot 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point range, but AU wasn't as sharp offensively as usual. In the second half, the Eagles shot 29 percent (9-of-31) from the floor. Outside of Daugherty and Gerbec, the only other AU player to reach double digits in scoring was sophomore guard Taylor Woods (Wadsworth, Ohio). She narrowly missed a second consecutive double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Woods led AU with five assists. Junior guard Alyssa Miller (Zanesville, Ohio/Tri-Valley) had just two assists, but that was enough for her to become Ashland's career leader in assists. Miller has 448 career assists. On Friday, Miller moved past Sara Whitis (447) into first place.
This was AU's second victory over the Greyhounds this season. The teams played in Indianapolis in December and Ashland won, 70-54. In that first game, Daugherty had 24 points and 13 rebounds and Gerbec had 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Ashland is 4-0 all-time in NCAA playoff games at Kates Gymnasium. Friday's win extends AU's home court winning streak to 41 games.