Ashland University's men's basketball team outscored Ohio Christian 55-23 in the second half en route to an 89-57 victory on Wednesday (Nov. 15) night at Kates Gymnasium.
"We just came out with a better sense of urgency in the second half," said Ashland head coach John Ellenwood. "Defense kind of set the tone in the second half.
"Overall, I thought we improved, but we've still got to get a lot better, to be honest, to be ready for some of these games in the GLIAC."
The win puts the Eagles at 3-0 on the young season, while the Trailblazers move to 2-7.
THE TOP TEN
1. In that second 20 minutes, the Eagles kept the Trailblazers to 9-of-24 shooting from the floor and 3-of-10 from 3-point range – a big swing from a first half in which Ohio Christian hit 8-of-16 from downtown to force a 34-all tie at halftime.
2. Sophomore forward Derek Koch, in just his third game as an Eagle, posted 22 points, 12 rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in 27 minutes before leaving in the second half due to injury. Koch was 10-of-13 from the floor.
"I just got into a flow," Koch said. "They started giving me a little more room, and I didn't hesitate to shoot it."
"He just rebounds the heck out of it," Ellenwood said.
3. Ashland had a pair of players finish with double-doubles on Thursday, as sophomore guard Aaron Thompson ended with 13 points and 10 boards, to go with a 6-of-7 shooting performance, three steals and two assists.
"AT's a great defender. He's got great hands," Ellenwood said. "He's coming into his own right now, and I'm very proud of him in everything he's doing. He's going to keep getting better.
"I'm glad he's just a sophomore."
Said Thompson, "As the season goes on…my confidence is steadily going up. I feel myself just more in the offense, and more effective on defense. It feels really good."
5. Ashland boasted a big 46-24 rebounding advantage, including 19 offensive boards. Through three games, the Eagles' rebounding average per game is plus-8.7.
6. There also was a disparity in turnovers, as Ashland had just 10, while the Trailblazers coughed the ball up 20 times. AU converted those Ohio Christian turnovers to the tune of 22 points.
7. The Eagles shot 50 percent from the field, and collected 16 assists on 35 made field goals.
8. Ashland is closing in on a program milestone, having won all-time game No. 1,195.
9. This is the fourth time in the last five seasons that Ashland has won each of its first three contests.
10. For Ohio Christian, Jason Baker led the way off the bench with 17 points.
The third of five consecutive home games – Wednesday (Nov. 21) at 4 p.m. vs. Seton Hill (0-2).