Throughout the entire 2017-18 season, Ashland University's women's basketball team has showcased what could be the most potent offense in NCAA Division II history.
On Wednesday (Feb. 28) night at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles used a top-flight defense to advance in the 2018 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
Ashland improved to 29-0 following an 88-39 victory over Davenport in the GLIAC Tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Eagles have won 66 consecutive games, the sixth-longest streak in NCAA basketball history, regardless of level or gender.
The 39 points are the fewest Ashland has given up this season, and the 25.4 percent the Panthers shot from the field is the best defensive mark in Eagle history in the GLIAC Tournament.
"I thought our defense was outstanding," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, who has won 97 of her first 99 games guiding the Eagles. "Last time (we played them), we gave up 85 points, so that's a significant difference. I felt we did a good job in the full court and the half court."
Davenport ends its first NCAA Division II season at 8-20.
1. In addition to keeping the Panthers to just 16 made field goals, including 1-of-17 from 3-point range, Ashland forced 30 turnovers, which led to 31 points.
2. There were a pair of Eagle milestones on Wednesday. Guard Jodi Johnson became the first player in program history to score 1,000 points as a sophomore, ending with 13 points and six boards. Another sophomore guard, Renee Stimpert, became Ashland's single-season assist leader with 193 after a game-high seven helpers in the victory.
Johnson said, "I've been a part of great teams my first two years here, obviously. I'm playing with great teammates, as well, and they've put me in this position."
"Credit to my teammates. They're knocking down shots," Stimpert said.
3. Senior forward Laina Snyder turned in her 46th career double-double in the victory, posting 16 points and 12 rebounds, while adding four steals and two blocks. Another senior forward, Andi Daugherty, added 14 points and four assists; junior guard Maddie Dackin collected 13 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the arc; and sophomore Sara Loomis chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
4. Wednesday's victory moves Ashland's all-time GLIAC Tournament record to 25-14 overall, 17-1 at home and 12-7 in first-round games.
5. Daugherty and Snyder each played in their 130th career games on Wednesday, tying them with Kelsey Peare for the most in program history. Another senior forward, Julie Worley, played in her 129th career game, tying her Lindsay Tenyak second all-time at Ashland.
6. The Eagles had a 13-6 lead at the game's first media timeout, and the catalyst was a stifling defense which forced seven turnovers in the first 6:42 of the contest.
7. Ashland had a 23-8 lead after the first quarter, but the Panthers has cut that deficit to 28-15 inside of the six-minute mark. Davenport had a 22-14 rebounding edge, and the Eagles were shooting 35.7 percent from the floor in the first 14-plus minutes.
8. At halftime, Ashland led, 41-19, on the strength of a defense which kept Davenport to just four points in the final 5½ minutes of the first half. Dackin scored 11 points, and Snyder nearly missed a double-double (10 points, nine boards), as the Eagles tied their best first-half showing this season in terms of fewest points allowed.
9. Johnson reached exactly 1,000 points with a triple early in the third quarter – one which forced Davenport into a timeout down 50-21. Ashland went into the fourth quarter with a 65-29 advantage, and went on to victory from there.
10. For Davenport, Emily Severn led the way with 12 points.
A GLIAC Tournament semifinal on Saturday (March 3) at 2 p.m. vs. No. 5-seed Northwood, a 64-56 winner at No. 4-seed Wayne State on Wednesday night. Ticket details will be available on Thursday (March 1).