The 19th-ranked Ashland University men's basketball team started on a 21-5 run against Davenport and never trailed as the Eagles came away with a 72-60 win in Grand Rapids, Mich. on Saturday (Dec. 8) afternoon.
The Eagles (8-0, 4-0 GLIAC) stayed undefeated on the season, matching their start from the 2015-16 season when they also won their first eight games.
Ashland got off to a strong start on Saturday as junior guard Rodrick Caldwell bookended the 21-5 start with 3-pointers. He had nine points in that stretch while senior guard Ben Haraway had five points.
Another 3-pointer by freshman guard Dylan Beaugard – his first collegiate basket – with 9:23 left in the first half pushed the Eagles' lead to 30-8.
The Panthers (8-2, 2-2 GLIAC) cut the margin back to 39-24 by halftime.
In the second half, Davenport slowly chipped away at the Eagles' lead, trimming it down to as little as two, 58-56, with five minutes remaining, but Caldwell drained a 3-pointer to stop the run, and after a stop, junior center Drew Noble sank two free throws to push the lead back to 63-56.
Haraway's layup with 2:52 left at the end of a shot clock gave Ashland a 67-58 lead before Noble and Caldwell combined to hit 5-of-6 free throws in the final minutes to close out the game.
The Eagles were efficient from long range on Saturday, hitting 3-pointers at a 52.6 percent (10-for-19) clip. Ashland shot 50 percent (24-for-48) from the field and 14-for-17 (82.4 percent) from the line.
The Eagles held the Panthers to just 40 percent (24-for-60) shooting, including just four 3-pointers on 22 attempts.
Caldwell paced the Eagles with 19 points on 5-for-9 shooting with all five makes coming from behind the arc. Haraway finished with 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and Noble contributed a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Phil Frentsos had eight points and four rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench.
Delano Smith led the Panthers with 17 points
The Eagles will now have the next week off for final exams before returning to the floor next Saturday (Dec. 15) for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off at Kates Gymnasium against Lawrence Tech.