THE TURNING POINT: Ashland went on an early 11-0 run to pull away from Northern Michigan.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles allowed two points to the Wildcats, while forcing 13 turnovers, in the second quarter.
Finishing regular-season play against the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference North Division, the No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team defeated Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon, 103-55, at Kates Gymnasium.
"It was a great team effort, great team win," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick. "I thought we played with great enthusiasm and intensity."
The Eagles move to 16-0 overall and 8-0 in the GLIAC, while the Wildcats, who were tied for the North lead coming into the game, are 10-4, 5-2. Ashland and Northern Michigan had the top two overall records in the conference coming into Saturday's game.
Ashland, one of six undefeated teams in NCAA Division II coming into the game, won its program-record 34th consecutive regular-season home game on Saturday. With a 24th straight GLIAC win at "The Kates," the Eagles are two away from tying that program mark, set from Feb. 3, 2011-Dec. 16, 2013.
Overall, Ashland has won 91 of its last 100 games at home.
The contributions were up and down the roster on Saturday. Five Eagles scored in double figures – junior forwards Julie Worley (19), Andi Daugherty (18) and Laina Snyder (15), senior guard Alex Henning (12) and freshman guard Jodi Johnson (11).
"I think we just did a great job of coming out with a lot of energy," Worley said. "We wanted to come out defensively and play how we have been playing. Today, we really came out strong, so that was exciting to see."
Snyder moved into ninth place in AU history at 1,263 career points, passing Daiva Gerbec (1,258). She also had four steals on Saturday, moving her into fifth place on Ashland's all-time steals list with 229.
Ashland boasted 28 assists on 40 field goals, while turning the ball over just seven times. Northern Michigan turned the ball over 34 times, leading to 45 Eagle points.
"I thought we passed the ball very well, especially in the first half," Fralick said. "So much of that comes off guarding the way we're supposed to guard."
The Eagles trailed 6-5 early before going on an 11-0 run. Ashland boasted a 31-17 lead after the first 10 minutes of the game, then outscored the Wildcats 28-2 in the second quarter thanks to a defense which forced 13 turnovers.
Ashland entered Saturday's game with the most wins (159) and best winning percentage (.874) in NCAA Division II since the start of the 2011-12 season. Its 16-0 start is the program's third-best all-time, trailing only 2012-13 (24-0) and 2015-16 (21-0).
UP NEXT: The start of GLIAC South Division play at home on Thursday (Jan. 12) at 5:30 p.m. against Ohio Dominican.