Ashland Men Set For Three-In-Five GLIAC Stretch

Ashland Men Set For Three-In-Five GLIAC Stretch

PDF VERSION OF GAME NOTES

Opening Tip

Ashland University's men's basketball team begins a key stretch in its pursuit of several Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference goals, playing three games in a five-day span.

The Eagles (11-6 overall, 6-5 GLIAC) take a four-game winning streak into the cluster of games which includes Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. at Walsh (13-5, 6-5), Jan. 28 at 3 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium vs. Findlay (14-4, 8-3) and Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Tiffin (8-10, 4-7).

Ashland is tied with the Cavaliers for second place in the GLIAC South Division, and is two games behind the first-place Oilers in the South.

The Eagles' latest victory was a 76-74 decision at Lake Erie, giving them road conference wins by two, one and eight points in 2016-17.

With nine regular-season games to play, Ashland is tied for the No. 6-8 spots in the 2017 GLIAC Tournament with Wayne State and Walsh, a half-game ahead of Ohio Dominican.

The Eagles are in a group of eight teams which come into the week anywhere from 8-3 to 6-6 in the league.

 

Eagles On The Air

- The next three games all will be aired live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister on the call.

- The Findlay home game will be aired live on WRDL-FM 88.9.

- All GLIAC home regular-season games will be aired on tape delay on SportsTime Ohio.

- Head coach John Ellenwood appears on "The Early Bird's Word" on WRDL every Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. during the season.

 

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

The Eagles continued their winning streak with a win at the Storm.

"It was a gutsy victory for our guys," said Ellenwood. "I thought we handled the adversity of a road game, a good crowd. It was something that our guys found a way to win. I thought (senior guard) Boo Osborne kind of willed us to win in that game. He was a second-semester senior in that contest.

"It was a great test for us going into this stretch of games we have coming up."

Ashland has a 13-8 all-time series lead over Walsh. In 2015-16, the Eagles lost at home 74-72 and won 70-64 on the road against the Cavaliers.

Walsh has two of the GLIAC's top three scorers in senior guard Zac Carter (first, 25.3 ppg.) and senior forward Trey Fletcher (third, 21.0).

All-time against Findlay, Ashland is 28-59. The Eagles and Oilers split last season's meetings, both winning at home (71-63 for UF, 67-64 for AU).

Against Tiffin, Ashland has an all-time series lead of 31-6. The Eagles swept both matchups a season ago, winning 70-51 at home and 79-76 on the road.

"Our next five games, this is a five-game stretch in nine days, and it's going to be extremely tough," Ellenwood said. "It starts out with Walsh, and we're worrying about that first. Then obviously, you have Findlay at home, and they have some great players.

"We've got a tough stretch of games here, and four of those five are on the road, and this will make or break us right now. We've got to be really tough right now in this stretch of games. Walsh is tough. They have two of the most effective scorers in the conference in Fletcher and Carter. Both of those guys have put up a lot of points in their career and this year."

 

Spreading The Wealth Offensively

Without injured senior forward Wendell Davis for the season, the Eagles have emphasized balanced offense and more passing. In the first 17 games of 2016-17, eight of Ashland's regulars are averaging at least 6.1 points per game, with three going for double figures per contest.

 

NAME

10+-POINT GAMES

Adrian Cook

12

Boo Osborne

11

Ben Haraway

9

Teddy Metzen

6

Phil Frentsos

5

Marsalis Hamilton

5

Nick Bapst

4

Drew Noble

2

Torin Wetzel

2

 

Ashland is averaging 14.9 assists per game, 2.7 per game more than a season ago, and good for a tie for sixth in the GLIAC.

 

Eagles Keep Winning Close Ones On The Road

Ashland finds a way to keep winning more close road GLIAC games than not of late. The following are the Eagles' most recent road conference contests decided by eight points or less:

 

DATE

OPPONENT

SCORE

1/19/17

at Lake Erie

W, 76-74

12/17/16

at Ferris State

L, 77-82

12/3/16

at Northwood

W, 64-63

12/1/16

at Lake Superior State

W, 95-87

2/20/16

at Tiffin

W, 79-76

2/18/16

at Ohio Dominican

W, 75-68

2/4/16

at Walsh

W, 70-64

2/1/16

at Lake Erie

W, 87-79 (OT)

1/23/16

at Wayne State

W, 68-61

 

"You have to have guys that are winners," Ellenwood said. "It's nothing with Xs and Os. It always comes down to a one- or two-possession game. You have to have guys on your bench and in the locker room who are willing to fight."

 

The Charity Stripe Has Been Much Kinder

The Eagles have been a better free-throw shooting team in the last nine games, in contract to the first eight:

 

TIME PERIOD

FTM

FTA

FT%

First 8 games

94

135

69.6

Last 9 games

142

180

78.9

 

Included in that hot stretch has been a 14-for-14 effort at home against Northern Michigan on Jan. 7, and a 22-for-24 showing vs. Hillsdale.

Freshman center Drew Noble leads the team at 92.0 percent, with Cook right behind at 87.5.

 

Osborne, Cook Headed For History

Both Osborne and Cook are looking to become the 25th and 26th players in program history to reach 1,000 points. Osborne has 935 career points, and Cook has 881, with at least nine games to go in their Eagle careers.

Osborne was 11-for-12 at the free-throw line in the win at Lake Erie, and hit four from the charity stripe in the waning seconds to clinch the victory. He has been Ashland's leading scorer in four of the last six games during its 5-1 run.

"He's leading," Ellenwood said. "Boo and Adrian and Torin Wetzel are our seniors, and they want to go out winners. They want to prove that they're a big part of our success over the years, and I think Boo is showing that right now. He's doing it on both ends of the floor."

 

Ellenwood Cements Place In AU History

Now in his eighth season, Ellenwood resides among the most successful head coaches in Ashland men's basketball history:

 

NAME

WINS

Roger Lyons

246

Bill Musselman

129

John Ellenwood

120

 

NAME

GAMES COACHED

Roger Lyons

439

John Ellenwood

209

Bill Musselman

159

 

NAME

SEASONS COACHED

Roger Lyons

16

John Ellenwood

7½+

George Donges



AU

MBKB/DS