THE TURNING POINT: Ashland overcame a slow first two minutes to take a 13-2 lead and not look back.
STAT OF THE GAME: In four games, the Eagles have trailed just twice - the 1-0 and 2-0 deficits to the Golden Knights to start Wednesday's game.
ERIE, Pa. - Venturing out on the road for the first time in 2016-17, the No. 3-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team improved to 4-0 following a 97-44 win vs. Gannon (1-5) at the Hammermill Center on Wednesday (Nov. 23) night.
"It's something we emphasize and talk about a lot, is just the relentlessness," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, "a relentlessness with the way we guard, a relentlessness with the way we push, a relentlessness with the way we play every possession. I thought we played hard for 40 minutes."
Five Eagles scored in double figures in the victory, paced by junior forward Laina Snyder, who had 21 points and added 14 rebounds (her 29th career double-double) and three steals. Junior forward Julie Worley came off the bench for a career-high 19 points to go with eight rebounds.
"Julie's been incredibly productive this year," Fralick said, "and Laina had an unbelievably productive and efficient game, as well. That's what we feel like is the strength of our team, is just that relentlessness we can play with, because it's next man up."
Said Worley, averaging 13.8 points and 7.3 rebounds through the first four games of the season, "I'm just so excited that I can contribute to this team and make a positive impact off the bench. I feel like that's a very important role on the team."
Senior guard Kelsey Peare posted 14 points, junior forward Andi Daugherty recorded 12 points (now four shy of 1,000 in her career), five rebounds, three assists and two steals and freshman guard Jodi Johnson had 11 points, five assists and five steals.
The Eagles shot 51.4 percent from the field and a season-best 85 percent from the free-throw line, while having a 46-33 rebounding advantage. The top team in Division II with 28.7 assists per game coming into the week, Ashland had 28 helpers on 36 field goals on Wednesday, led by freshman guard Renee Stimpert's seven.
"That's what a team is," said Fralick. "You're relying on everyone to do their part well."
On defense, Ashland turned in a season-best 25.9-percent field-goal percentage and 13.3-percent 3-point field-goal percentage allowed, and forced 28 turnovers.
After a slow start in the game's first couple minutes, Ashland's offense quickly revved up to the tune of a 13-2 lead in the first five minutes of the first quarter. At the end of the first 10 minutes, the Eagles had a 28-9 advantage.
By halftime, Ashland had extended its lead to 49-20, as it shot 60.6 percent from the field and outscored Gannon on the fast break, 24-0. Going into the fourth quarter, the Eagles' lead was 41 points (74-33).
UP NEXT: The first game of the 2016 Holiday Inn Express Tournament at Kates Gymnasium on Saturday (Nov. 26) at 1 p.m. against Slippery Rock. "We're loving how many home games we've had," Worley said.