No. 1 AU Women Begin New Season With Win Over Panthers

No. 1 AU Women Begin New Season With Win Over Panthers


THE TURNING POINT: Ashland trailed 7-2 early in the game before outscoring Ohio Dominican 62-28 for the remainder of the first half.

STAT OF THE GAME: Only two NCAA Division II women's basketball programs – Washburn (51) and North Dakota State (49 and 42) – have longer winning streaks all-time than the Eagles' 38.

More than seven months later, Ashland University's women's basketball team picked up right where it left off.

The last game that counted for the Eagle women prior to Friday (Nov. 10) night was their 93-77 win over Virginia Union to win the 2017 NCAA Division II national championship. On Friday, top-ranked Ashland started the 2017-18 season with an 115-60 win over Ohio Dominican at the Midwest Region Crossover in Cedarville, Ohio.

Ashland's win is its 38th in a row, moving it into fourth place by itself in the history of NCAA Division II women's basketball, trailing only Washburn (51, Jan. 26, 2005-March 11, 2006) and two streaks by North Dakota State, 49 from Feb. 25, 1994-Dec. 15, 1995 and 42 from Jan. 19, 1996-March 8, 1997.

Six Eagles scored in double figures, led by sophomore guard Jodi Johnson, who scored a career-high 22 points and added a career-high-tying eight assists. Johnson was 8-of-11 from the field and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line, and added three rebounds and four assists.

Senior forward Laina Snyder collected her 39th career double-double on Friday night, finishing with 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She moved into second place on Ashland's all-time list in both rebounds (909) and field goals made (668).

Junior guard Maddie Dackin and senior forward Julie Worley each added 16 points, and sophomore guard Renee Stimpert and sophomore forward Sara Loomis each chipped in with 14.

Stimpert's six steals were a career-best total, as well.

The Eagles made 57.7 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from 3-point range and 85.2 percent from the free-throw line. Ashland had 26 assists on 41 made field goals, turned the ball over 14 times and pilfered 19 steals.

Defensively, AU kept ODU to 33.9-percent shooting from the floor and forced 29 turnovers.

Ashland is 1-for-1 in scoring in triple figures in 2017-18 after doing so 11 times last season.

For the Panthers, Sarah Futscher led the way with 13 points.

Trailing 7-2 in the early going, the Eagles went on an 8-2 spurt to take a 10-9 lead at the game's first media timeout. Through the first 10 minutes of the campaign, Ashland led 32-19, while posting seven assists and not turning the ball over.

The Eagles turned in a similar second quarter, outscoring ODU 32-16 to take a 64-35 lead into the break.

Friday night's victory also was the Eagles' 35th in a row in the regular season, extended the program record for most consecutive road/neutral-site wins to 19 and moved the team's regular-season road/neutral-site win streak to 16.

UP NEXT: The second and final game of the Midwest Region Crossover on Saturday (Nov. 11) at 3:15 p.m. against the host Yellow Jackets.