#15 Ashland Locks In, Showcases Depth In 108-39 Win

#15 Ashland Locks In, Showcases Depth In 108-39 Win

The Ashland University men's basketball team was dominant on both ends of the floor as the Eagles dispatched Ohio-Chillicothe, 108-39, on Tuesday (Nov. 19) night at Kates Gymnasium.

The 39 points allowed by the Eagles were the fewest since a 20-14 win over Fredonia State on Feb. 17, 1973. It is the fewest points allowed by the Ashland program in the shot clock era, which began in 1985.

The Eagles (3-0), ranked No. 15 in the NABC Division II coaches' poll, also set the second-best mark in program history for margin of victory at 69 points.

Five players scored in double figures for the Eagles, who were able to play all 16 players that dressed with 13 of them getting in the scorebook. No players played more than 20 minutes as head coach John Ellenwood was able to develop the depth on his bench in meaningful action.

"Our guys that don't get much of a chance to play, it's important to get them in games," Ellenwood said. "It's good for them to get the confidence and learn. There's nothing like putting the fans in the stands, turning the lights and scoreboard on, that you can't substitute that in practice. It's good to get decent minutes for those guys who work their butts off in practice."

Freshman guard Ethan Conley poured in a game-high 19 points in 20 minutes, shooting 5-for-6 from 3-point range, and collecting six rebounds. The Eagles shot 57 percent (16-for-28) from 3-point range in the game with their most triples since they hit 21 in a 100-69 win in the GLIAC Tournament against Findlay in 2017.

Ashland shot 64 percent (38-for-59) overall and 84 percent (16-for-19) from the free throw line, where the Eagles had struggled in the first two games.

"We all have our roles and excel at them," Conley said. "The credit goes to my teammates. They're so unselfish, getting the penetration in the paint, then kicking it out."

The Eagles got several of their bench guys quality minutes in the second half as the reserves scored 55 points. The normal rotation players enjoyed getting to see their teammates succeed at Kates Gymnasium.

"It's awesome, those guys come in and challenge us in practice," said senior center Drew Noble. "They're so unselfish. They make us better and its great to see them get the recognition that deserve."

Noble finished with 17 points, five rebounds and a team-high five assists. Senior guard Rodrick Caldwell added 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting and Redshirt-freshman wing Bryce Drews scored a career-high 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting.

Redshirt-junior wing Aaron Thompson came out with 10 points and four boards. Junior forward Derek Koch scored five points, collected six rebounds and dished five assists in 20 minutes.

Bilal Barnes led the Hilltoppers with 10 points in 24 minutes off the bench.

The Eagles will now play host to Alderson Broaddus on Sunday (Nov. 20) at 2 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium.