THE TURNING POINT: Leading 31-28 early in the second half, Ashland outscored Northern Michigan 21-4 to put the game away.
STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles went 14-for-14 from the free-throw line on Saturday, and are 46-for-56 (82.1 percent) from the charity stripe in the last three games.
Ashland University's men's basketball team snapped its five-game losing streak in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and a three-game home GLIAC losing skid, with a 67-48 win over Northern Michigan on Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon at Kates Gymnasium.
"They played a lot of zone, and we haven't seen a lot of zone lately," said Ashland head coach John Ellenwood, who won his 150th career college game as a head coach, "so it took us a few possessions. We definitely figured it out in the second half. We did a good job of sharing the ball, and defensively, we did a really good job of holding a team in the GLIAC under 50 points.
"We need to continue to play great defense so we can get some easy buckets down at the other end."
The Eagles improved to 8-6 overall and 3-5 in the GLIAC, while the Wildcats are 3-9, 1-6.
Senior guard Boo Osborne went for a game-high 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from 3-point range. Osborne is the first Eagle to hit at least six triples in a game since Cole Krizancic at Ferris State on Dec. 7, 2013.
"I'm feeling pretty good," Osborne said. "This whole year, my shot has been more inconsistent, and I feel like this is the game that brings out the consistency. I didn't take one dribble on any of the shots. They were all assisted. It was seven assists for the team. Those guys found me when I was wide open."
"Boo had a great game for us. He's got a lot of confidence," Ellenwood said. "As Boo's confidence goes, so goes our team."
Freshman center Drew Noble added 12 points and seven rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench, hitting 4-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line.
"He's going to be a great player in this league," said Ellenwood. "Drew is a great big kid, because he makes free throws and he scores at the rim and he's physical and he rebounds."
The Eagles dished out 18 assists on 22 field goals in the victory, while hitting all 14 free throws.
Ashland's defense held a GLIAC opponent to less than 50 points for the first time since a 48-point showing by Wayne State on Feb. 13, 2016. The Wildcats managed just 40.0 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.
The Eagles had a slim 17-15 lead in the last four minutes of the first half, but pulled away to take a 24-17 lead into halftime. Leading 31-28 with 15:33 left in the game, Ashland got the run it was looking for, outscoring the Wildcats 21-4 over the next almost 10 minutes en route to the victory.
UP NEXT: The start of GLIAC South Division play at home on Thursday (Jan. 12) at 7:30 p.m. against Ohio Dominican.