No. 1 AU Women Rout Oilers, Clinch GLIAC Tourney Spot

No. 1 AU Women Rout Oilers, Clinch GLIAC Tourney Spot


THE TURNING POINT: After Findlay opened the game with a 3-pointer, Ashland went on a 20-3 run to pull away.

STAT OF THE GAME: The Eagles have scored at least 100 points in a school-record six games in 2016-17.

On Saturday (Jan. 28) afternoon, the No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team tied a program record with 15 3-point field goals, and almost set new school standards for assists (34) and field-goal percentage (64.3).

Most importantly, the Eagles earned yet another win.

Ashland improved to 21-0 overall and 13-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference following a 110-65 win over Findlay (9-12, 3-10) on Saturday at Kates Gymnasium. The Eagles' magic number to clinch their sixth GLIAC South Division championship in seven seasons is cut to four, and AU is the first team to qualify for the 2017 GLIAC Tournament.

"It was a great team win," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, now 52-2 in less than two full seasons guiding the Eagles. "That's clear, when you have 34 assists, we did a great job sharing the ball. We played with a ton of energy."

Saturday's win not only increased Ashland's program-record home regular-season winning streak to 37 games, it also set a new program mark for most GLIAC regular-season home wins in a row at 27. The Eagles also tied the program's second-best start to a season, bested only by the 24-0 start to the 2012-13 NCAA Division II national championship season.

Junior forward/center Laina Snyder paced all scorers with 20 points, while adding eight rebounds, three assists and six steals. In all, six Eagles – Snyder, freshman guard Jodi Johnson (15), senior guard Kelsey Peare (12), senior guard Alex Henning (11), junior forward Andi Daugherty (10) and sophomore guard Maddie Dackin (10) – all scored in double figures.

"The strength of this team is the team. That's what we talk about all the time," Fralick said. "That's something where we know we need to maximize the strength of the team."

Snyder moved into a tie for sixth place on AU's all-time scoring list at 1,370 points, and also is fourth on the program's all-time rebounding list at 801. Daugherty (1,237), who also ended Saturday with eight rebounds and eight assists, is one point away from tying for the 11th spot on the program's all-time list.

On defense, Ashland forced 29 Oiler turnovers, turning them into 35 points.

Lynsey Englebrecht paced Findlay with 14 points off the bench.

The Eagles set the tone early, turning a quick 3-0 deficit into a 20-6 lead thanks in large part to four Oiler turnovers. Ashland kept up the pressure, and by the time the first quarter came to an end, it had a 35-20 advantage while shooting 15-of-22 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range and dishing out 14 assists.

Findlay cut its deficit to 12 early in the second quarter, but Ashland turned up the heat once again, this time to the tune of a 17-3 run to take a 55-29 halftime lead. In the game's first 20 minutes, the Eagles turned 14 Oiler turnovers into 17 points, while outscoring UF in the paint, 30-4.

Ashland began the day as one of four undefeated teams in NCAA Division II, and all four were in action on Saturday.

UP NEXT: The end of a three-games-in-five-days stretch on Monday (Jan. 30) at 5:30 p.m. at Tiffin.