Wins take many forms.
Ashland University's women's basketball team won its 62nd consecutive game on Thursday (Feb. 15) night at Grand Valley State, and none of the previous 61 looked like No. 62.
The top-ranked Eagles rallied from a 67-55 deficit late in the third quarter to topple the Lakers, 96-90, in overtime. Ashland is 25-0 overall and 17-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while GVSU is 20-5, 13-4.
The Eagles have won 32 straight games away from Kates Gymnasium, and snapped the Lakers' 19-game home winning streak. Grand Valley has lost five home games in the last three seasons, and three of those have come against AU.
Senior forward Laina Snyder led the way with 27 points, and with 2,066 in her career, needs 22 to pass Amber Rall (2,087) as the program's all-time leading scorer. Sophomore guard Jodi Johnson added 25 points, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals, while sophomore guard Renee Stimpert knocked in a career-high 24 points to go with five helpers.
Andi Daugherty, another senior forward, rounded out four players in double figures with 10 points, to go with five boards and six assists.
Ashland overcame 12 Grand Valley 3-point field goals and being outrebounded 50-28 by turning the ball over just five times and scoring 20 points off 19 Laker turnovers.
Thursday night's game featured 15 ties and 16 lead changes.
1. Grand Valley took an 8-4 lead in the early going, then the game started to see-saw – Ashland with five points in a row, the Lakers with four in a row. The game was tied at 14 at the game's first media timeout, and Johnson already had dished out four assists.
2. After allowing the first three points out of the timeout, the Eagles clamped down for the remainder of the first quarter, taking an 18-17 lead in the process. Ashland overcame GVSU having a 13-6 rebounding margin in the game's first 10 minutes.
3. The Lakers' fifth trey of the game re-tied it at 29 inside of the six-minute mark of the second quarter, as the game's see-saw nature continued. Ashland's lead was 33-31 before Grand Valley scored six straight points. Rebounding continued to be an issue, with GVSU having a 20-10 advantage.
4. At that point, Snyder scored four quick points for another tie, at 37-all. Snyder hit two more free throws in the first half's final minute, giving her 14 points at the break. The Lakers, however, led 41-39 at the half – the first time Ashland trailed going into the third quarter this season.
5. Ashland came out of the locker room with back-to-back triples by Stimpert and Johnson, and a Snyder bucket made it an 8-0 run to open the third quarter. The Lakers, however, continued to hit their own threes, and their 10th make beyond the arc gave them a 65-55 lead.
6. With 10 minutes to play, the Eagles trailed 68-60 after Daugherty hit a triple to close the third. GVSU had a pronounced 38-20 rebounding advantage, including 14-4 on the offensive glass, which resulted in 18 second-chance points.
7. Down 71-60 early in the fourth, Ashland cut its deficit to six points at 73-67 on back-to-back Johnson hits from downtown. Trailing by eight after a Laker layup, a triple and two Snyder free throws cut the GVSU lead to three points with more than four minutes left in regulation.
8. Snyder's layup to get the lead back with 5.6 seconds to go was followed by Natalie Koenig splitting free throws to re-knot the game for GVSU. Ashland rallied from 11 points down with nine minutes left in regulation to force an extra five minutes.
9. In overtime, four straight Laker points were countered by a Stimpert triple. Stimpert gave Ashland its first OT lead with another three with two minutes to go, and finished with 10 of the Eagles' 12 points in the extra period.
10. For the Lakers, Koenig scored 26 points, while Cassidy Boensch came off the bench for 23 points and seven rebounds.
The final regular-season road game of 2017-18 on Saturday (Feb. 17) at 2 p.m. at Purdue Northwest (4-18, 3-14).