To start another Michigan road trip, Ashland University's women's basketball team took a 112-69 decision at Saginaw Valley State on Thursday (Jan. 18) night.
The No. 1-ranked Eagles are 18-0 overall and 10-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and continue to pace both the GLIAC overall and South Division standings. The Cardinals are 4-13, 4-6.
Ashland's magic number to clinch its third consecutive South Division title, and seventh in the last eight seasons, is eight.
The Eagles, who won their NCAA Division II women's basketball-record-extending 55th consecutive game on Thursday night, is the only undefeated women's basketball team in D-II. Ashland reached the century mark in points for the 20th time during the winning streak, and it leads the country at 100.8 points per game this season.
Five Eagles scored at least 14 points in Thursday night's victory. Sophomore guard Jodi Johnson, the reigning GLIAC South Player of the Week, ended with 22 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks, while hitting 7-of-9 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point range and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Senior forwards Laina Snyder and Andi Daugherty, junior guard Maddie Dackin and sophomore guard Sarah Hart all scored 14 points. Snyder and Hart each added seven rebounds and four assists, and Snyder added three steals and two blocks. Sophomore guard Renee Stimpert finished with seven points, 11 assists and four steals.
1. Offensively, the Eagles hit a season-high 59.2 percent from the field, a season-high 54.5 percent from the arc and 10-of-11 from the foul line. Ashland also tied the school record with 35 assists on 45 made field goals.
2. Defensively, Ashland forced 29 turnovers and kept SVSU to 36.5 percent from the floor and 31.6 percent form downtown.
3. Senior forward Julie Worley played in her 120th career game on Thursday night, fourth-most in program history, while Daugherty and Snyder played in their 119th games as Eagles, fifth-best all-time.
4. At the game's first media timeout, the Cardinals had an 8-6 lead. Ashland turned that around in quick order with a 7-0 run. Triples from junior guard Brooke Smith and Hart extended the Eagle advantage to 16-10, and the Eagle run to 10-2.
5. The end of the first quarter saw Ashland with a 22-16 lead, and defense was the catalyst (five forced turnovers, eight points off and SVSU 7-of-22 from the field and 0-for-6 from 3-point range).
6. Into the second stanza, the Eagles continued to have trouble pulling away from the Cardinals. That pull-away began following the seven-minute mark in the form of a 9-0 run which forced an SVSU timeout – and gave Ashland a 41-25 lead.
7. At the half, AU took a 60-36 advantage into the locker room thanks to a 38-point second quarter – the third-best in program history (a 40-point quarter and two 39-point periods). Both sides of the court were strong for the Eagles in the first 20 minutes – a 56.4 field-goal percentage, 7-of-13 from the arc and 9-of-9 from the foul line, while forcing 13 turnovers and keeping the Cardinals to 37.8 percent from the field and 2-of-11 from downtown.
8. Ashland set a new program record with its 18th straight regular-season GLIAC win away from home. The Eagles also won their 15th consecutive outing in the state of Michigan, their eighth meeting overall against the Cardinals and their 28th game in a row in the month of January.
9. With the win at SVSU, other AU winning streaks extended almost all are program records - 52nd in a row in the regular season, 36th in a row in the GLIAC regular season (team record is 38), 28th in a row away from home and 25th in a row away from home in the regular season.
10. For the Cardinals, Francesca Coury came off the bench for a team-high 15 points, and Abby Duffy added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Saturday (Jan. 20) at 1 p.m. at Northwood (10-6, 6-4).