The Ashland University men's basketball team powered past host Michigan Tech late in the first half and pulled away from the Huskies after halftime for a 73-62 win in Houghton, Mich. on Thursday (Jan. 4) night. The win ran Ashland's winning streak to six games.
It was the first win for the Eagles in Houghton since Dec. 3, 2005, snapping a six-game road losing streak to the Huskies.
The Eagles (11-3, 4-2 GLIAC) trailed by as many as nine points, 28-19 with 5:20 to play in the first half before closing the period on a 16-5 run to take a 35-33 lead into halftime. Four Eagles scored during the closing spurt, led by senior forward Marsalis Hamilton, who scored six in the final five minutes.
Ashland continued its run in the second half, scoring on five of its first seven possessions as senior wing Wendell Davis took over the ballgame on the first few possessions, knocking down a pair of triples and scoring on a driving layup. He finished with a game-high 26 points to go with 11 rebounds and four assists for his 20th career double-double. Seventeen of his points came in the second half.
The Huskies (7-6, 4-2 GLIAC) whittled their deficit back to seven midway through the second half, but a layup by Hamilton with 8:52 remaining stopped the run and Noble's layup pushed the margin back to double digits. The Huskies did not get closer than nine points the rest of the way as the Eagles countered every Tech punch.
The Eagles continued the impressive defensive run they've maintained through their winning streak, holding the hosts to just 62 points on 39 percent (24-for-61) shooting, 12 points below their season average. AU also forced only three turnovers in the game.
Michigan Tech junior forward Kyle Monroe came into the game ranked fourth in Division II in scoring, averaging 26.9 points per game on 52 percent shooting. The Eagles held him to just 21 points on 7-for-18 shooting from the field.
Hamilton joined Davis as the only other player to score in double figures with 14 points and three rebounds. Noble nearly had a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds. Haraway added eight points and redshirt-freshman wing Aaron Thompson scored four points and collected seven boards. Junior forward Phil Frentsos led the reserves with seven points on 3-for-3 shooting with six rebounds in just 17 minutes.
The Eagles will now try and knock off GLIAC-unbeaten Northern Michigan (9-4, 6-0 GLIAC), which toppled Tiffin on Thursday night, 75-56. Tip-off in Marquette on Saturday (Jan. 6) is slated for 1 p.m.