Top-Ranked AU Women Begin Final Four Vs. Huskies

Top-Ranked AU Women Begin Final Four Vs. Huskies

PDF VERSION OF GAME NOTES

Opening Tip

In hosting the 2017 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Final Four, Ashland University's women's basketball team will continue to look to set the bar higher and higher.

The No. 1-seeded Eagles (29-0) will play No. 4 seed Michigan Tech (20-7) in a tournament semifinal on March 4 at 2 p.m. at Kates Gymnasium. In another semifinal on March 4 at 4 p.m., No. 2-seeded Saginaw Valley State (22-6) will take on No. 3 seed Grand Valley State (22-6). The winners of those two semifinals will play for the conference tournament championship on March 5 at 3 p.m. at "The Kates."

Should Ashland win the tournament, it will become the first GLIAC women's basketball program to win both four regular-season and four tournament titles in a six-year span.

The Eagles are coming off a 91-63 home win over Walsh to begin GLIAC Tournament play.

 

Eagles On The Air

- Ashland's Final Four games will be aired live on WRDL-FM 88.9.

- Ashland's semifinal and the tournament championship game 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 in NCAA Division II

Ashland University remains the unanimous No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division II.

The latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Top 25 Coaches' Poll was released on Tuesday (Feb. 28), and the Eagles are the No. 1 team in the country for the 11th poll in a row, and the unanimous top team for the fifth consecutive week. Ashland is the only undefeated women's or men's basketball team in Division II.

The Eagles became the first GLIAC women's basketball team to finish a regular conference schedule at 20-0, and the undefeated regular season is the first in the 50 season of the Ashland women's basketball program.

The latest WBCA poll marks the 24th time Ashland has been the top-ranked team in Division II. Ashland's 11 straight No. 1 rankings is the program's second-longest streak (12, 2012-13). The Eagles are 44-1 (.978) all-time when playing as the No. 1 team in the country.

Ashland has been ranked in the WBCA poll 67 times, has been in the Top 10 in the poll 51 times and has been in the Top 5 on 43 occasions, all since 1995-96. This is the 32nd straight poll in which the Eagles have appeared.

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

 

Ashland Women Remain Atop Region In Third Rankings Set

Ashland University has done what has had to in order to host a second consecutive Midwest Regional tournament.

In the third set of regional rankings released on Wednesday (March 1) afternoon, the Eagles are on top of the Midwest Region for the third week in a row.

In addition to attempting to play host to a second straight Midwest Regional, it also would be Ashland's fourth time hosting the regional in the last six seasons.

The first two sets of regional rankings were released on Feb. 15 and 22. The Division II postseason selection show will be Sunday (March 5) at 10 p.m. on NCAA.com.

A 64-team tournament (the top eight teams from each of eight regions), the Division II postseason will begin on March 10, and the Elite Eight, Final Four and national championship game will be March 21, 22 and 24 at Alumni Hall on the campus of Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, Ohio.

Ashland won the Division II national championship in 2013, and was the national runner-up in 2012. The Eagles have made six prior D-II postseason appearances, all since 2004, and have an all-time postseason record of 15-5 (.750). Their .750 winning percentage is second in Division II history among programs with at least 20 games played.

In the Midwest Region, automatic qualifiers come from the GLIAC, Great Lakes Valley Conference and Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The other five teams are chosen as at-large entries.

 

SCHOOL

RANK

ASHLAND

1

Drury

2

Saginaw Valley State

3

Ursuline

4

Michigan Tech

5

Bellarmine

6

Southern Indiana

7

Grand Valley State

8

Lewis

9

Ohio Dominican

10

 

The Final Four Has Arrived

Ashland will play in its 11th GLIAC Tournament Final Four following its home win in the quarterfinals over the Cavaliers.

"Great team win," Fralick said, "and the thing that stood out to me the most after getting to watch the game again is we played really hard. I loved our energy. There was a locked-in focus from our team. Those are the things you need to bring night in and night out."

During the regular season, the Eagles defeated Michigan Tech at home, 82-75, on Jan. 5; topped Saginaw Valley State, 101-50, at home on Dec. 8 and prevailed 75-61 at Grand Valley State on Dec. 19.

"Everyone left playing has had a great season, and is playing well," said Fralick. "There's just lots of different challenges in front of us, and every team, obviously, poses some different ones."

Ashland is 8-2 all-time in GLIAC Tournament semifinal games, and 3-5 all-time in GLIAC Tournament championship games. The Eagles won conference tournament titles in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and have reached five of the last six GLIAC Tournament title contests.

 

Daugherty, Snyder Earn Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American Honors

For just the second time in program history, Ashland University has two Academic All-Americans in the same season.

Announced on Wednesday (March 1) afternoon, Eagle junior forwards Laina Snyder and Andi Daugherty each have earned second-team Academic All-American honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Snyder and Daugherty are two of just 15 NCAA Division II players to earn the honor.

Snyder is averaging 17.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.2 steals and 1.4 blocks per game, while hitting 51.3 percent from the field and 79.4 percent from the free-throw line. On Ashland's all-time lists, she is fifth in scoring (1,441 career points), fourth in rebounding (839 career rebounds) and tied for third in steals (257 career).

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

Daugherty is going for 14.8 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per contest this season, and hits 56.7 percent from the floor, 37.3 percent from 3-point range and 75.3 percent from the foul line. She is tied for seventh all-time in Ashland history with 1,370 career points, and her 52.5 percent career mark from the floor is fifth-best in Eagle history.

Daugherty becomes just the second player in the 50-season history of Ashland women's basketball to earn two Academic All-American honors, after also landing on the second team in 2015-16. Sue Rupp earned honorable mention in 1985-86 and a second-team citation in 1986-87.

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

"What a testament to both of them," said Fralick, "and what's really, really clear about both of them is their hard work is in all areas of their life. They're incredibly hard workers on the court, and they're incredibly hard workers in the classroom. And they're committed. They're really, really committed to the team and to their studies, and this award is a testament to that."

Snyder and Daugherty are the first pair of Eagle women's basketball players to earn Academic All-American laurels in the same season since Kari Daugherty and Daiva Gerbec each landed on the first team in 2012-13. The Ashland women's basketball program now has 10 Academic All-American awards all-time.

 

Forwards Keep Picking Up The Slack

Snyder, Ashland's leading scorer, has missed the last three games due to injury. Daugherty, junior forward Julie Worley and freshman forward/guard Sara Loomis have more than made up for Snyder's absence in those contests:

 

NAME

PPG

RPG

APG

SPG

FG%

3FG%

FT%

Daugherty

18.3

7.3

2.3

0.7

63.9

55.6

100.0

Worley

14.0

8.3

1.3

2.0

56.7

N/A

80.0

Loomis

9.7

6.7

0.7

0.7

60.0

57.1

87.5

 

"I've said it over and over and over again," Fralick said. "The strength of this team the entire season has been the team. And that sounds really cliché, but it's true, and it's what's gotten us to this point."

 

Snyder, Daugherty Climbing AU Points Lists Separately, Together

Snyder and Daugherty each went past the 1,000-career-point mark earlier this season. Snyder (1,441 career points) is in fifth place all-time at Ashland, while Daugherty (1,370) is tied for seventh.

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:

 

CLASSMATES

LAST SEASON

COMBINED PTS.

Amber Rall/Catherine Portyrata

2006-07

3,210

LAINA SNYDER/ANDI DAUGHERTY

Current

2,811

Kari Daugherty/Daiva Gerbec

2012-13

2,672

Gweynn Hampel/Darla Plice

1977-78

2,518

 

And Then There Was…One

Through March 1, Ashland is the only undefeated women's or men's basketball team in NCAA Division II, and is one of six women's basketball teams at all NCAA levels to still be undefeated:

DIVISION I (1) - Connecticut.

DIVISION II (1) - ASHLAND.

DIVISION III (4) - Thomas More, Ohio Northern, 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 173 victories and an .883 winning percentage (173-23) through March 1.

 

The Laundry List Of Winning Streaks

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

 

CATEGORY

CURRENT

AU RECORD

Regular-season home win streak

40 (Dec. 19, 2014-current)

40 (Dec. 19, 2014-current)

Regular-season win streak

34 (Feb. 6, 2016-current)

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

GLIAC regular-season home win streak

30 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

30 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

Consecutive wins to start a season

29 (2016-17)

29 (2016-17)

Overall win streak

29 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

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

GLIAC regular-season win streak

26 (Feb. 6, 2016-current)

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

Road/neutral-site win streak

15 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

15 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

Regular-season road/neutral-site win streak

15 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

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

Home win streak

16 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

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

GLIAC regular-season road win streak

12 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

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

 

The Arrow Is Pointing Up

Through the month of February, the Eagles continue to lead the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.65-to-1), assists per game (25.2), field-goal percentage (51.9), scoring margin per game (33.9) and scoring offense per game (96.6). Ashland is second in Division II in 3-point field-goal percentage (41.3), and third in steals per game (14.7).

Senior guard Kelsey Peare leads D-II in 3-point field-goal percentage (54.2) and is second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.64-to-1).

Among active Division II career leaders, Snyder is fifth in steals per game (2.76), tied for seventh in double-doubles (37) and tied for eighth in steals (257), while Worley is sixth in field-goal percentage (58.1).

 
 

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