THE TURNING POINT: Leading 59-51 in the final minute of the third quarter, Ashland scored 11 straight points to pull away.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles have scored at least 75 points in all 18 games this season.
The No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team extended one program-record winning streak and tied another on Saturday (Jan. 14) afternoon, defeating Hillsdale, 85-66, in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division matchup at Kates Gymnasium.
Ashland improves to 18-0 overall and 10-0 in the GLIAC, while Hillsdale is 10-7, 4-6. AU has a four-game lead in the South Division with 10 GLIAC games to play.
"You've got to find a lot of different ways to win," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick. "I think we did that by defending and getting the first rebound."
The Eagles, one of four undefeated teams in NCAA Division II coming into the day, won their already-school-record 36th consecutive regular-season home game on Saturday, along with tying the program mark for GLIAC regular-season home victories in a row with 26.
Overall, Ashland has won 93 of its last 102 (.912) games at "The Kates."
Junior forward/center Laina Snyder recorded her 35th career double-double, going for 17 points and 16 rebounds while adding four assists and two steals. Freshman guard Jodi Johnson (13 points, six rebounds, four steals) and senior guard Kelsey Peare (11 points, three rebounds, six assists, two steals) joined Snyder in double-digit scoring.
"One of our biggest strengths as a team is our balance and our depth and our ball movement," Fralick said. "That's always something we heavily rely on."
With seven points, junior forward Andi Daugherty moved into 14th place on Ashland's all-time scoring list at 1,205 for her career.
Ashland outrebounded Hillsdale by a decided 50-32 margin, while recording 22 assists and 16 steals. The Eagles kept the Chargers to 15-of-41 (36.6 percent) from the floor in the final three quarter, and forced 25 turnovers overall.
Ashland scored the game's first six points, then boasted a 13-8 lead before Hillsdale outscored the Eagles 18-9 the remainder of the first quarter to take a 26-22 lead into the second.
The start of the second quarter also was a strong one for Ashland, as an 11-2 run put it on top 33-28. The Eagle lead was one point at 34-33 before an 8-2 spurt gave them a 42-35 halftime advantage.
"We had a good second quarter, which really helped us going into halftime," Fralick said.
Ashland led 59-51 in the final minute of the third quarter prior to an 11-0 run over a four-minute span to remove any doubt of the outcome.
The Eagles began the day with the most wins (161) and best winning percentage (.875) in Division II since the start of the 2011-12 season. Their 18-0 start is the third-best in the 50 seasons of the program, topped only by the 2012-13 (24-0) and 2015-16 (21-0) teams.
Ashland is 33-1 all-time when playing as the No. 1 team in the country.
UP NEXT: The start of a stretch of five of six games on the road on Thursday (Jan. 19) at 5:30 p.m. at Lake Erie.