Ashland University sophomore forward Andi Daugherty lifted the Eagles to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional semifinals – and right into the Division II record book.
The No. 3-ranked Eagles began play as host of the regional with a 72-70 win over Ursuline on Friday (March 11) night following Daugherty's last-second layup. The Eagles (31-1) will play Drury (25-4) on Saturday (March 12) at 7:30 p.m. in a regional semifinal.
"The old cliché, March is survive and advance, and I think that's probably the best way to sum it up," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick. "We made enough plays and found a way."
In winning its 10th consecutive game overall and 30th straight at home on Friday, Ashland became the winningest Division II women's basketball program in terms of overall NCAA tournament winning percentage (minimum of 12 games).
The Eagles, appearing in the NCAA Division II postseason for the fourth time in the last five years and sixth time overall, boast a 15-4 all-time tournament record which equates to a .789 percentage – passing now-Division I North Dakota State (47-13, .783).
The Arrows' season ends at 25-4.
Daugherty finished the night with a game-high 24 points to go with 16 rebounds for her 15th career double-double.
"She made winning plays," Fralick said. "There's a separator in players and teams that are able to do that, and she made multiple winning plays for us."
Sophomore forward Laina Snyder posted 18 points and 15 boards for her 26th career double-double, while yet another sophomore forward, Julie Worley, came away with 10 points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
Ashland had a 10-7 lead in the game's first four minutes before going on a 13-6 spurt en route to a 23-12 advantage after one quarter. The Eagles extended their lead to as many as 19 points at 34-15 with 6:41 left until halftime, but the Arrows worked that deficit down to 43-35 in the waning moments of the first half.
AU took an eight-point lead at 45-37 into the break, and Snyder had a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) in the game's first 20 minutes. Daugherty nearly did the same (nine points, nine boards).
Ursuline kept coming in the second half – to the point where the Arrows had a 69-67 lead with 32 seconds to play. That's when Daugherty went to work, scoring on an old-fashioned 3-point play with 14 seconds left, then, with the game tied at 70 with 10 seconds to go, hitting the winning layup.
Daugherty Game-Winning Shot
"At that point in the game, you really can't think a whole lot," Daugherty said. "I knew I had to get to the bucket. We've made it this far, and I feel really confident on the court right now. And if someone was going to take the last shot, I wanted it to be me."
THE NOTEBOOK: The Eagles are 20-1 in their last 21 home postseason (GLIAC or NCAA tournament) games…This is the second time in program history that Ashland has had a 20-plus-game winning streak and a 10-plus-game winning streak in the same season (2012-13)…The Eagles are 163-32 (.836) since the start of the 2010-11 season… Snyder, Daugherty and/or Worley have led or co-led Ashland in rebounds in 65 of 66 career games.