The Ashland University men's basketball team took its hot start on the road Thursday (Dec. 6) night and knocked off host Grand Valley State, 74-63, at GVSU Fieldhouse Arena in Allendale, Mich.
The 19th-ranked Eagles (7-0, 3-0 GLIAC) stayed undefeated while handing the Lakers (6-2, 2-1 GLIAC) their first conference loss. Ashland is the only unbeaten team in GLIAC play.
Grand Valley State started the game with an 8-0 run before junior forward Phil Frentsos came off the bench to spark the offense for seven of its first nine points.
The Eagles pulled even for the first time at 18-18 on a 3-pointer by junior guard Rodrick Caldwell to kickstart a 14-0 run that saw the Eagles take a 29-18 advantage with 4:55 remaining in the first half. The Eagles forced five GVSU misses and sophomore forward Derek Koch connected on a pair of 3-pointers in that stretch.
The Lakers cut the margin down to five points, 33-28, by halftime.
Grand Valley quickly knocked the margin down to three in the second half before Caldwell buried a couple 3-pointers off passes by senior guard Ben Haraway, followed by Haraway's own triple to push Ashland ahead by 12.
The Eagles still led by a dozen after a Caldwell jumper at the free throw line with 4:38 left. Grand Valley then hit its next four shots and cut the Ashland lead down to 66-63 with just two minutes remaining, forcing a timeout.
After the break, Caldwell settled things with a deep 3-pointer off a Haraway feed before the Eagles got multiple stops and hit free throws to close out the game.
Caldwell matched his season high with 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting. He was 5-for-11 from 3-point range and also had seven rebounds and three assists. Koch added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Haraway scored 15 points and dished out six assists, one shy of a season high. Frentsos had 11 points off the bench, while redshirt-sophomore guard chipped in seven points and 10 rebounds.
The Eagles shot 45.5 percent (25-for-55) from the floor while holding the Lakers to just 35.1 percent (20-for-57) shooting. AU had a 41-33 edge on the glass.
The Eagles will now head to Davenport (8-1, 2-1 GLIAC) for a tough matchup on Saturday (Dec. 8) at 3 p.m.