THE TURNING POINT: Ashland led 59-50 with 10 minutes to play before going on an 11-2 run to pull away.
STAT OF THE GAME: Senior guard Boo Osborne became the 25th player in Eagle men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points.
In recent games, fans of Ashland University's men's basketball team have had the luxury of enjoying not only a team renaissance, but an individual offensive one, as well.
On Monday (Jan. 30) night at Tiffin, the Eagles won their seventh consecutive game, 85-74, over the Dragons. Ashland is 14-6 overall and 9-5 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and remains one game behind Findlay for first place in the GLIAC South Division.
Tiffin is 9-12, 5-9.
While the Eagles have been climbing the GLIAC overall and South ladders, senior guard Boo Osborne has been reaching new offensive heights. On Monday, Osborne became the 25th player in AU men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points following a 26-point outing on 10-of-11 from the field and 6-of-6 from 3-point range.
The reigning GLIAC South Player of the Week, Osborne has put up the following numbers in the last three games over five days – 69 points on 24-of-29 (82.8 percent) from the field and 17-of-20 (85.0 percent) from downtown.
Ashland shot 62.7 percent from the field and a season-high 62.5 percent from the 3-point line.
For the Dragons, Austin Adams scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Khaleal McCormick (15) and Juwan Johnson (13) also scored in double figures.
As has been custom of late, Osborne scored Ashland's first eight points, and the Eagles took an early 8-2 lead. After that, however, the Dragons tied the game at 11-all and 16-all. Five straight Cook points lifted the Eagles to a 24-18 lead, but the yo-yo first half continued when McCormick hit back-to-back jumpers and Brandon Wilkins converted a layup for the fourth tie of the first half, 24-24.
Ashland had a seven-point lead at 33-26 with five minutes to go until halftime, but Tiffin once again worked the score back to a tie at 35-35. There were seven knotted scores in the first 20 minutes, but each time, the Eagles scored the next points in the game, including at 40-39 at the break.
In a back-and-forth first half, Ashland shot 64.0 percent from the floor and hit 5-of-8 from 3-point range, while the Dragons made 55.2 percent from the field and 4-of-8 from the arc. Osborne and Cook each had 11 points, offsetting Adams' 14 points on 6-of-6 from the field.
The Eagles' defense came to the fore in the second half, keeping the Dragons to just two points in a span of more than four minutes while Ashland built up a 59-46 lead. Tiffin could get no closer than nine points the rest of the way, and the only suspense remaining was if Osborne would get to 1,000 points.
That would come on a layup with 4:48 to play.
UP NEXT: Back on the road for the start of the second round of GLIAC South play on Thursday (Feb. 2) at 7:30 p.m. vs. Ohio Dominican (11-9, 6-8).