No. 1 AU Women To Begin Home Regional Against Pioneers

No. 1 AU Women To Begin Home Regional Against Pioneers

PDF VERSION OF GAME NOTES

Opening Tip

The No. 1-ranked Ashland University women's basketball team will start play in its fourth home NCAA Division II Midwest Regional in the last six years on March 10 at 5 p.m. against Malone.

The Eagles (31-0) will face the former Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference rival Pioneers (23-6) in a regional quarterfinal. That will be one of four regional quarterfinals on March 10 at Kates Gymnasium, followed by two semifinals on March 11 at 5 and 7:30 p.m., and the regional championship game on March 13 at 7 p.m.

Ashland is coming off a second consecutive GLIAC Tournament championship and the program's fourth overall. The Eagles won home tournament games over Walsh (91-63) on Feb. 28, Michigan Tech (81-59) on March 4 and Grand Valley State (85-76) on March 5 to take home the title.

Coming into the regional, Ashland is 18-0 at home this season, and has won 106 of its last 117 (.906) at "The Kates."

 

Eagles On The Air

- Ashland's Midwest Regional games will be aired live on WNCO-AM 1340, with Marty Bannister on the call.

- Ashland's Midwest Regional games will be aired live on WRDL-FM 88.9.

- 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.

 

Ashland Women Enter NCAA Postseason As Unanimous No. 1

Ashland University will head into its home NCAA Division II Midwest Regional as the unanimous No. 1 team in the country.

The final regular-season Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Top 25 Coaches' Poll has the 31-0 Eagles as the top team in Division II for the 12th poll in a row, and the unanimous top team for the sixth week in a row. Ashland is the only undefeated women's or men's basketball team in Division II.

Ashland became the first GLIAC women's basketball program to win both four regular-season and four tournament championships in a six-year period. Earlier in 2016-17, the Eagles became the first GLIAC women's basketball team to finish a regular conference schedule at 20-0, and their 28-0 regular season was the first in the 50 seasons of the program.

Ashland now has been the No. 1 team in the WBCA Division II poll 25 times, and the current streak of 12 polls in a row ties the program's longest mark, set in 2012-13. The Eagles are 46-1 (.979) all-time when playing as the No. 1 team in the country.

Since 1995-96, Ashland has been ranked in the WBCA poll 68 times, has been in the Top 10 in the poll 52 times and has been in the Top 5 on 44 occasions. This is the 33rd consecutive poll in which the Eagles have appeared.

 

Surveying The Midwest Regional Field

You know you will earn a regional championship when you go through one which has each of its teams boasting at least 22 wins coming in.

"Hosting is a privilege you get for having a great regular season," said Fralick, "so you have to be proud of the work that's been put into it before-hand. This region is stacked with great teams. You haven't had a good season if you made it here, you had a great season."

BELLARMINE - The Eagles defeated the Knights, 88-83, in Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 30...Senior forward Sarah Galvin averages 15.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, and is an 81.1-percent free-throw shooter.

DRURY - The Panthers are 20-1 in their last 21 games coming into the regional tournament...Junior guard Heather Harman goes for 15.7 points, 4.2 assists and 3.2 rebounds per contest, and is second on the team with 57 3-point field goals.

GRAND VALLEY STATE - Ashland is 2-0 against the Lakers this season - 75-61 on the road on Dec. 19 and 85-76 at home in the GLIAC Tournament title game on March 5...Senior guard Janae Langs leads GVSU in points (10.4), rebounds (5.9) and minutes (31.9) per game.

LEWIS - The Flyers have winning streaks of seven and six games so far in 2016-17...Sophomore forward Jessica Kelliher earned Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year honors, and averages 19.9 points and 7.6 rebounds per game with a 66.1 field-goal percentage.

MALONE - The Pioneers enter the regional tournament having won 11 consecutive games...Senior guard Rachel Goddard averages 15.9 points and 4.9 assists per game while connecting on 86.6 percent of her free throws.

SAGINAW VALLEY STATE - Ashland won at home against the Cardinals, 101-50, on Dec. 8...Senior guard Katelyn Carriere averages 15.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game and shoots 86.1 percent from the foul line.

URSULINE - The Arrows authored a 16-game winning streak earlier this season...Junior forward Laney Lewis averages a double-double (16.0 points, 11.8 rebounds) while also going for 4.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.8 blocks per game.

 

Snyder, Johnson, Fralick Highlight Eagle GLIAC Award Winners

In many ways, the 2016-17 season for Ashland University has been one of firsts.

That continued on March 3, as Eagle junior forward Laina Snyder (Player of the Year), freshman guard Jodi Johnson (Freshman of the Year) and Fralick (Coach of the Year) swept the 2016-17 GLIAC women's basketball postseason awards.

"Laina winning Player of the Year is a reflection of her having an incredible season," said Fralick. "Jodi winning Freshman of the Year is a reflection of her having an incredible season.

"But even more than that, those awards are won when your team has an incredible season, so it's connected. I was really proud of both of them. Those are really hard to win."

It is the first time in GLIAC women's basketball history that one team has received all three awards in the same season.

Fralick is 2-for-2 in winning GLIAC Coach of the Year honors, as she also won in her first season guiding the Eagles in 2015-16. This is Ashland's third GLIAC Coach of the Year honor – Fralick the last two seasons and Sue Ramsey in 2011-12.

Snyder led the GLIAC during the regular year in rebounding and steals, while finishing tied for sixth in assists and fourth in blocks. She earned six GLIAC South Player of the Week awards this season.

This also is AU's third GLIAC Player of the Year award, with current assistant coach Kari (Daugherty) Pickens winning in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Johnson earned the program's fourth GLIAC Freshmen of the Year award, joining Andi Daugherty (2014-15), Suzy Wollenhaupt (2013-14) and Amber Rall (2003-04).

Both Snyder and Daugherty landed on the All-GLIAC first team. It is both Snyder's and Daugherty's second first-team citation in a row.

Ashland also landed a pair of All-GLIAC second-teamers – Johnson and senior guard Kelsey Peare.

Three Eagles – Snyder, Daugherty and senior guard Alex Henning – all earned spots on the All-GLIAC defensive team for the second season in a row.

At the end of the GLIAC Final Four banquet on March 3, Ashland was awarded with the team trophy for the 2016-17 conference regular-season championship.

 

Snyder, Daugherty Climbing AU Points Lists Separately, Together

Snyder and Daugherty each went past the 1,000-career-point mark earlier this season. Snyder (1,463 career points) is in fifth place all-time at Ashland, while Daugherty (1,411) is 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

2,874

Kari Daugherty/Daiva Gerbec

2012-13

2,672

Gweynn Hampel/Darla Plice

1977-78

2,518

 

GLIAC Title Game Tests Eagles' Mettle

The GLIAC Tournament championship game featured a rarity for the Eagles this season - trailing late in a game. Ashland was down 71-66 going into the last five minutes, then outscored the Lakers 19-5 the rest of the way.

"You can't teach experience, and you can't teach winning plays," Fralick said. "You can talk about it, you can show it, you can work on it, but until the game lights are on...it's hard to simulate that. What I was really proud of with this team is we made consecutive winning plays."

The start of those winning plays was a 3-point field goal by Henning, which got Ashland going on the comeback trail.

"It's a shot we see her make all the time," said Fralick. "It's a shot she shoots confidently all the time in practice. While I was really proud of her, it wasn't a surprise. When you're a senior, there's always a different sense of urgency that surrounds you, and she played with that."

 

Daugherty Enjoys The Bright Lights

Performances like the one Daugherty turned in against the Lakers in the GLIAC Tournament title game aren't surprising. Thanks to 12 points and six rebounds in the last five games as the Eagles were rallying, Daugherty earned her second consecutive GLIAC Tournament Most Valuable Player award.

"Andi made winning plays - rebounds in a crowd, her putback in a crowd, the rebound off the free throw in a crowd, hitting free throws," Fralick said. "It was almost like, 'This ball is mine.' And obviously, that was really important for our team during that stage of the game."

Daugherty's numbers once the regular season ends over her first three seasons as an Eagle are impressive:

 

GLIAC TOURNAMENT

DATE

OPPONENT

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

FG

FT

3/5/17

GRAND VALLEY STATE

25

11

3

1

2

8-13

8-8

3/4/17

MICHIGAN TECH

16

4

0

1

0

5-15

5-6

2/28/17

WALSH

22

7

2

1

1

10-13

0-0

3/6/16

GRAND VALLEY STATE

17

10

1

0

1

6-9

4-4

3/5/16

WALSH

23

6

3

0

1

8-13

7-8

3/1/16

NORTHERN MICHIGAN

5

7

5

1

3

1-8

3-4

3/8/15

at Michigan Tech

13

10

2

3

0

4-9

4-4

3/7/15

vs. Walsh

6

10

2

0

0

2-6

2-2

3/4/15

NORTHWOOD

17

7

5

2

1

7-14

1-2

AVERAGES

 

16.0

8.0

2.6

1.0

1.0

51-100

34-38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51.0

89.5

 

NCAA TOURNAMENT

DATE

OPPONENT

PTS

REB

AST

STL

BLK

FG

FT

3/12/16

DRURY

18

4

2

1

0

6-10

6-6

3/11/16

URSULINE

24

16

2

0

1

9-19

6-8

3/16/15

vs. Lewis

21

10

0

1

3

8-15

4-6

3/14/15

at Michigan Tech

13

13

3

1

0

4-9

4-4

3/13/15

vs. Southern Indiana

12

5

4

0

1

4-6

4-4

AVERAGES

 

17.6

9.6

2.2

0.6

1.0

31-59

24-28

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52.5

85.7

 

And Then There Was…One

Through March 6, Ashland is the only undefeated women's or men's basketball team in NCAA Division II, and is one of five women's basketball teams at all NCAA levels to still be undefeated:

DIVISION I (1) - Connecticut.

DIVISION II (1) - ASHLAND.

DIVISION III (3) - 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 six seasons, 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 175 victories and an .884 winning percentage (175-23) through March 5.

 

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)

Consecutive wins to start a season

31 (2016-17)

31 (2016-17)

Overall win streak

31 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

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

GLIAC regular-season home win streak

30 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

30 (Jan. 2, 2015-current)

GLIAC regular-season win streak

26 (Feb. 6, 2016-current)

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

Home win streak

18 (Nov. 11, 2016-current)

44 (Feb. 3, 2011-Nov. 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)

GLIAC regular-season road win streak

12 (Feb. 18, 2016-current)

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

 

The Arrow Is Pointing Up

Through March 5, Ashland is the No. 1 team in Division II in the following five categories:

 

CATEGORY

ASHLAND

NO. 2 TEAM

Assist-to-turnover ratio

1.64-to-1

1.44-to-1 - Glenville State

Assists per game

25.0

19.4 - Ursuline

Field-goal percentage

51.7

48.9 - West Texas A&M

Scoring margin per game

32.7

28.6 - Alaska Anchorage

Scoring offense per game

95.7

94.4 - Glenville State

 

The Eagles also are second in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage (41.3), tied for third in steals per game (14.5) and fourth in turnover margin per game (plus-8.74).

Individually, Peare leads D-II in 3-point field-goal percentage (54.7) and is second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.53-to-1).

Among active D-II career leaders, Peare is third in 3-point field-goal percentage (43.6), Snyder is fifth in steals per game (2.74), tied for eighth in double-doubles (37) and ninth in steals (260), and junior forward Julie Worley is seventh in field-goal percentage at 57.8.

 
 

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