On Thursday (Nov. 21) night at Kates Gymnasium, Lewis' women's basketball team attempted to slow the game down against No. 7-ranked Ashland University.
The Flyers did slow it down – but the Eagles nearly scored 100 points anyway.
Ashland moved to 4-0 on the young season, with all four wins coming against in-region rivals, following a 96-57 decision over Lewis (2-3) on Thursday.
"I was really proud of our team's effort," said Ashland head coach Kari Pickens. "It was a total team effort, top to bottom. You can't ask for much more as a coach."
THE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
- Ashland led 22-16 late in the first quarter, then turned on the scoring jets for the rest of the half, scoring 32 points to take a 54-37 lead into halftime. In the game's first 20 minutes, Ashland shot 60.6 percent from the field, including 68.8 percent in the second quarter alone.
- The offensive difference for the Eagles was, as the first half progressed, player movement without the basketball, leading to better passing lanes against Lewis' tall and lanky defenders.
"We just changed sides of the court," said Pickens. "I thought our team did that much better. It's hard for them to pack the paint like they were for the course of an entire game. In the second quarter, they started creeping out a little more."
- Defense played a key role in the Eagles extending their lead in the second quarter, as well, as the Flyers made just 40.9 percent from the floor and missed all three attempts from beyond the arc.
- Ashland methodically extended its lead to start the third period, and by the media timeout, that advantage had grown to 66-40. The tally heading into the final 10 minutes was 80-44, thanks to a stifling defensive effort which kept the Flyers to 3-of-18 from the field and 1-of-9 from downtown.
- Junior forward Karlee Pireu scored a game-high and career-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field, and added a career-high five assists and a career-best four steals.
- The Eagles' balanced extended to rebounding, where they had a decided 46-32 advantage. Loomis ended with nine caroms, while Pireu, Johnson and Hart each finished with six.
- Sophomore point guard Sophia Fortner made her first start at Ashland, and posted five points and four assists.
"I thought Sophia came in and did a phenomenal job for us in that starting position," Pickens said. "I was really proud of her effort.
"The strength of this team, there's a lot of them, but I think our depth and their versatility is one of our biggest strengths."
- Ashland shot 49.3 percent from the field, 41.7 percent from 3-point range and a season-high 87.5 percent from the free-throw line on Thursday night, while keeping Lewis to 37.7 percent from the floor and 1-of-13 from beyond the arc.
- The Eagles have won 250 games (250-27, .903) since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The end of the three-game homestand on Tuesday (Nov. 26) at 1 p.m. against Walsh (5-1).