Top-Ranked Ashland Women Beat Bulldogs, Move To 12-0

Top-Ranked Ashland Women Beat Bulldogs, Move To 12-0


THE TURNING POINT: Leading 30-27 with 6:25 left in the first half, Ashland outscored Ferris State 16-7 the rest of the second quarter. 

STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles forced 26 turnovers, which resulted in 39 AU points.

Returning to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday (Dec. 17) afternoon, the No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team improved to 12-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference after a 96-74 win at Ferris State (2-8, 2-3).

After just five league games, the Eagles lead the GLIAC South Division by two games over Ohio Dominican, 2½ games over Walsh and 3½ games over Hillsdale.

Ashland tied its third-best start to a season (the team also won the first 12 games in 1981-82 and 1996-97) thanks to a transition effort which forced 26 Bulldog turnovers and scored 39 points off those miscues. The Eagles have forced at least 17 turnovers in all 12 games this season.

Junior forward Laina Snyder led all scorers with 22 points for her second consecutive 20-plus-point output. With 1,193 career points, she is seven away from tying Gail Wasmus (1,200) for 13th on Ashland's all-time scoring list. Snyder also posted six rebounds, four assists, two steals and five blocked shots, and in two games this week, she has 42 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, six steals and eight blocks in 46 minutes.

Junior forward Julie Worley came off the bench for 18 points and six boards in 18 minutes, going 6-of-8 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line. Yet another junior forward, Andi Daugherty, added 15 points (at 1,121 career, two away from Catherine Portyrata for 15th place in AU history), six rebounds and three assists.

Senior guard Kelsey Peare (10) rounded out four Eagles in double-digit scoring, freshman guard Jodi Johnson had seven points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals and senior guard Alex Henning chipped in with four points, five boards and seven helpers.

Henning has racked up 19 assists and 10 steals to just three turnovers in the last three games.

Ashland shot 46.1 percent from the field and 81 percent from the free-throw line, while sporting a 38-32 rebounding advantage.

The Eagles have scored at least 85 points in all 12 games to start 2016-17.

Ashland had a 9-6 lead early, then went on a 14-4 run to increase its advantage to 23-10. Ferris State, however, countered with a run of its own to end the first quarter and start the second, outscoring the Eagles 12-3 to cut its deficit to four points at 26-22.

Ferris State had it at a 38-32 disadvantage before Ashland put together a half-ending 8-2 spurt to take a 46-34 lead into the locker room.

The Eagles led 74-52 after the third quarter on the way to the win.

Ashland leads all of Division II in wins (156) and winning percentage (.872) since the start of the 2011-12 season.

UP NEXT: Ending the first semester on Monday (Dec. 19) at 5 p.m. at No. 22-ranked Grand Valley State (8-2, 4-1).