THE TURNING POINT: Leading 38-36 early in the third quarter, Ashland outscored Lubbock Christian, 28-13, for the remainder of the period.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles have won 42 consecutive games, tied for third-longest in the history of NCAA Division II women's basketball.
It was the first big test for Ashland University's women's basketball team in 2017-18, and the Eagles passed.
On Friday (Nov. 24) at the St. Mary's Thanksgiving Classic in San Antonio, Texas, top-ranked Ashland defeated No. 8 Lubbock Christian, 79-66. The Eagles are 5-0 overall, and have won 42 games in a row, tied for the third-longest streak in NCAA Division II women's basketball history.
The Lady Chaps, who won the 2016 D-II national title, are 6-1.
It was the first time Ashland played a nationally-ranked opponent since defeating No. 18 Virginia Union in the 2017 NCAA Division II national championship game.
Sophomore guard Jodi Johnson led the way for the Eagles, scoring a game-high 26 points, adding six rebounds, three assists and five steals, and setting a new program record for most free throws in a game without a miss with 16. The previous record of 14 was set by current AU associate head coach Kari Pickens at Malone on Jan. 12, 2013.
Junior guard Maddie Dackin was next up in the scoring column with 14 points.
With the victory, Ashland's Robyn Fralick has won 73 of her first 75 games (.973) as a head coach.
For Lubbock Christian, freshman guard Allie Schulte scored a team-high 16 points, while freshman guard Madelyn Turner added 11 and junior forward Bobbi Chitsey chipped in with 10.
Entering the game, the Eagles were the No. 1 team in the country in scoring offense (97.3 ppg.) and assists per game (24.3), and were seventh in field-goal percentage (49.6). Ashland scored 79 points, had 13 assists and shot 46 percent in the victory.
On the flip side, the Lady Chaps came into the contest allowing 47 points per game, tied for seventh in the nation, and was tied for fifth in the country in field-goal percentage defense at 29.5.
Leading 38-30 at the half, the Eagles surrendered six points in a row to begin the third quarter. Ashland, however, turned up the defensive heat, and the result was a quick 5-0 spurt for a 43-36 advantage.
Thanks to a 3-pointer from sophomore forward/guard Sara Loomis, the Eagles extended their lead to 56-42 inside of the five-minute mark of the third quarter. At the end of the third, Ashland's lead was 66-49, and it went on to win from there.
The Eagles also have won 39 games in a row in the regular season, 21 games in a row away from home (a school record) and 18 games in a row away from home in the regular season.
UP NEXT: The second and final game of the St. Mary's Thanksgiving Classic on Saturday (Nov. 25) at 6 p.m. vs. the host Rattlers.