Top-Ranked AU Women To Host Walsh, Go To Findlay

Top-Ranked AU Women To Host Walsh, Go To Findlay


Opening Tip

Ashland University's women's basketball team, ranked No. 1 and the only undefeated team remaining in NCAA Division II, will have a split home-road schedule in the next-to-last week of the 2016-17 regular season.

The Eagles, 25-0 overall and 17-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, will play Walsh (13-11, 9-8) on Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium, then travel to Findlay (12-13, 6-11) on Feb. 18 at 1 p.m.

Ashland is 2½ games ahead of Saginaw Valley State with three games to go in the hunt for a second straight regular-season conference championship and the top seed in the 2017 GLIAC Tournament. It would be the Eagles' fourth GLIAC regular-season title in the last six years.

With a win at Findlay, Ashland would set a new program record for most consecutive road victories with 15. The current streak of 14 began on Feb. 18, 2016, and that ties the mark set from Nov. 13, 2011-March 21, 2012.


Eagles On The Air

- This week's games will be aired live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister (Walsh) and Noah Cloonan (Findlay) on the call.

- This week's home game will be aired live on WRDL-FM 88.9.

- All GLIAC home regular-season games will be aired on tape delay on SportsTime Ohio.

- Head coach Robyn Fralick appears on "The Early Bird's Word" on WRDL every Friday at 8:30 a.m., and on "Inside The Huddle With Noah Cloonan" every Wednesday during the season.


Eagle Women Remain Unanimous No. 1 Team In Division II

Ashland University became the only undefeated women's basketball team in NCAA Division II over the weekend.

That only solidified the Eagles as the unanimous No. 1-ranked team in the country for the third week in a row, as the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Top 25 Coaches' Poll was released on Tuesday (Feb. 14) morning.

Ashland is 25-0 overall and 17-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Eagles have won the GLIAC South Division title for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, and are on the verge of a second consecutive GLIAC regular-season championship and the fourth in the last six years.

The latest WBCA poll marks the 22nd time Ashland has been the top-ranked team in Division II. Ashland's nine straight No. 1 rankings is the program's second-longest streak (12, 2012-13). The Eagles are 40-1 (.976) all-time when playing as the No. 1 team in the country.

Ashland has been ranked in the WBCA poll 65 times, has been in the Top 10 in the poll 49 times and has been in the Top 5 on 41 occasions, all since 1995-96. This is the 30th straight poll in which the Eagles have appeared.

The Eagles are the lone GLIAC representative in this week's WBCA poll.


Looking Back, Looking Ahead

In its only game last week, Ashland defeated Lake Erie at home, 111-70. The Eagles set a new program single-game record with 17 3-point field goals, and dished out 33 assists - the fifth time AU has had at least 30 assists in a game in 2016-17.

"The Lake Erie game, I thought we shared the ball really well, and we shot it well," Fralick said. "We did a good job in the beginning of the game setting the tone with that. There was a lull in the third quarter that we need to learn from. Our defensive energy isn't what we needed it to be. The middle of the third to the end of the fourth, we regained that.

"The great thing is that everybody contributed. It was one of those team wins. Every person who played really made a positive impact on the game."

Earlier this season, Ashland won at Walsh, 90-53, and at home against Findlay, 110-65.  The Eagles have won three of the last four against the Cavaliers and six of the last seven vs. the Oilers.

"We just know each other so well," said Fralick. "It's the South teams, it's our second time through and both Walsh and Findlay are playing really well. They've won a number of games lately. There's things that we can see that, 'Wow, we've got to do that better this time around,' and we've got to make sure we do that."


Snyder, Daugherty Earn CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors

Thursday's (Feb. 9) announcement of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District women's basketball teams could be seen as a microcosm of the 2016-17 Ashland University season.

There are five spots on the NCAA Division II, District 4 team, and two were occupied by Eagles – junior forwards Laina Snyder and Andi Daugherty.

Through the first 25 games of the season, Snyder is averaging 18.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 3.3 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, while shooting 51.2 percent from the field and 79.4 percent from the free-throw line. She is a six-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference South Division Player of the Week so far this winter.

A Business Management major, Snyder sports a cumulative grade-point average of 3.90 through the 2016 fall semester.

So far in 2016-17, Daugherty is going for 14.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.5 steals per contest, while hitting 54.4 percent from the floor and 72.6 percent from the foul line. She has been named GLIAC South Division Player of the Week twice and earned U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) Division II Women's Basketball Player of the Week laurels on Jan. 3.

A Finance major, Daugherty's cumulative GPA through the fall of 2016 is 3.93.

"It's an unbelievable award," Fralick said. "It's a reflection of what they are able to do on the court and in the classroom, and at the end of the day, that's what it's about. They're incredibly hard workers in all areas of their life."

Snyder and Daugherty give the Ashland women six Academic All-District awards since the start of the 2012-13 season. This is Daugherty's second Academic All-District citation.

Both Snyder and Daugherty advance to the national ballot for potential CoSIDA Academic All-America honors. Those teams will be announced on Wednesday, March 1.


Eagles Chasing More GLIAC History

Ashland has three regular-season games to play, and it is chasing some GLIAC history along the way.

With three more wins, not only would the Eagles join Saginaw Valley State and Oakland as the only GLIAC women's basketball programs to go through a conference regular season undefeated more than once, they also would be the first GLIAC team to finish a league regular season at 20-0.



- 2016-17 Ashland - 17-0 (three games to go)

- 2011-12 Ashland - 19-0                        

- 1996-97 Northern Michigan - 18-0                

- 1988-89 Oakland 16-0

- 1984-85 Saginaw Valley State - 16-0

- 1983-84 Saginaw Valley State - 16-0

- 1982-83 Oakland - 16-0

- 1981-82 Oakland - 16-0

- 1979-80 Wayne State - 10-0

- 1974-75 Grand Valley State - 8-0

Ashland already is the only GLIAC women's basketball program to win both three regular-season and three tournament championships in a five-year span.


Snyder, Daugherty Climbing AU Points Lists Separately, Together

Snyder and Daugherty each went past the 1,000-career-point mark earlier this season. Snyder (1,429 career points) is in fifth place all-time at Ashland, while Daugherty (1,291) is ninth. Daugherty is 19 points away from tying Gweynn Hampel (1,310) for eighth place.

In the 50-season history of Eagle women's basketball, only four sets of teammates whose last season of play were together have each gone past 1,000 points. Snyder and Daugherty are chasing those pairs on a different list:





Amber Rall/Catherine Portyrata






Kari Daugherty/Daiva Gerbec



Gweynn Hampel/Darla Plice




And Then There Was…One

Ashland enters the new week as the only undefeated women's basketball team in NCAA Division II. Through Feb. 12, Ashland is one of seven women's basketball teams at all NCAA levels to still be undefeated:

DIVISION I (1) - Connecticut.


DIVISION II (5) - Thomas More, Ohio Northern, SUNY Geneseo, Amherst and St. Thomas (Minn.).


Ashland Sets The Division II Pace

Ashland has been the best Division II women's basketball program in the last five-plus years, a stretch which includes a national championship in 2013 and a national runner-up finish in 2012.

The Eagles lead Division II since the start of the 2011-12 season with 169 victories and an .880 winning percentage (169-23) through Feb. 12.


The Threes Keep Falling

In recent weeks, the Eagles have worked their season 3-point field-goal percentage to 40.2, which leads the GLIAC and is second in Division II.

Ashland set a new program record for single-game triples with 17 at home against Lake Erie, and in the last six games, its percentage from beyond the arc is 49.6 (58-for-117).

"There's a few things that go into that," said Fralick. "One of the things is everyone worked really hard at it. Space on a court's critical in basketball, so we knew going into the wasn't just one person taking it really seriously, I thought our team did a good job taking it seriously.

"The second piece to that is we take good shots. A huge part of that percentage is not only our ability to make shots, but our ability to take good shots and in-rhythm shots, and that's something we need to continue to do."

Ashland's single-season record for 3-point field-goal percentage is 40.1, set in 2014-15.


The Laundry List Of Winning Streaks

So far in 2016-17, Ashland has set or tied four of the 10 program winning streaks found below:





Regular-season home win streak

38 (Dec. 19, 2014-current)

38 (Dec. 19, 2014-current)

Regular-season win streak

31 (Feb. 6, 2016-current)

49 (Nov. 13, 2011-Feb. 9, 2013)

GLIAC regular-season home win streak

28 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

28 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

Consecutive wins to start a season

25 (2016-17)

25 (2016-17)

Overall win streak

25 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

33 (Nov. 13, 2011-March 21, 2012)

GLIAC regular-season win streak

23 (Feb. 6, 2016-current)

38 (Feb. 24, 2011-Feb. 9, 2013)

Road/neutral-site win streak

14 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

14 (Nov. 13, 2011-March 21, 2012)

14 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)


Regular-season road/neutral win streak

14 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

23 (Nov. 13, 2011-Jan. 24, 2012)

Home win streak

13 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

44 (Feb. 3, 2011-Nov. 9, 2013)

GLIAC regular-season road win streak

11 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

17 (Feb. 24, 2011-Jan. 24, 2012)


The Arrow Is Pointing Up

In addition to being No. 2 in the country in 3-point percentage, Ashland leads Division II in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.68-to-1), assists per game (25.2), field-goal percentage (51.8) and scoring margin per game (34.0), is second in scoring offense per game (96.4) and is third in steals per game (15.1).

The Eagles' marks in assists per game and total assists (629) lead all women's basketball teams at all NCAA levels through Feb. 12.