The Ashland University men's basketball team turned in a complete 40-minute effort to stretch its season-opening winning streak to nine with an 86-55 win over Lawrence Tech on Saturday (Dec. 15) night at Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles (9-0), ranked 16th in Division II, matched their second-longest start in school history. Ashland last won its first nine games in the 1989-90 season. The best start in program history came in 1990-91 when the Eagles were 15-0.
On Saturday, the Eagles were solid on the defensive end, holding the Blue Devils (6-9) to just 38.9 percent (21-for-54) shooting from the floor.
"Coach said all week to sharpen the sword, so our whole emphasis was to get better at things we need to get better at, whether it was offensively or defensively, and impose our will and beat the team like we should." said junior center Drew Noble, who paced the Eagles with 19 points.
Offensively, Ashland moved the ball well with 11 players getting in the scorebook and nine players recording an assist. The Eagles registered 22 assists on 33 field goals and committed just six turnovers.
A 14-2 run capped by 3-pointers by Noble and junior guard Rodrick Caldwell pushed the Eagles out to a 16-5 lead with 13:55 left in the first half. The Eagles made a season-high 12 3-pointers in the game, shooting 46.2 percent from long distance.
Lawrence Tech got it back down to four on multiple occasions later in the period, but the Eagles closed the half on a 13-3 run to take a 40-26 lead into halftime.
The Eagles continued their dominance in the second half, quickly ballooning their lead over 20 points.
Caldwell went 4-for-6 from 3-point range to finish with 16 points and a game-high five assists. Senior forward Phil Frentsos scored a career-high 14 points in 17 minutes off the bench, shooting 6-for-7 from the field.
"Off the bench, (I'm trying to) bring energy, bring a spark to the game," said Frentsos. "I try to do that every game, bring positivity when I check in."
Senior guard Ben Haraway chipped in 11 points and sophomore forward Derek Koch added five points and matched a season high with 12 rebounds. Redshirt-sophomore forward Aaron Thompson filled the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Ty Searles led the Blue Devils with 15 points as the only visiting player to score in double figures.
The Eagles will conclude their pre-Christmas stretch with a 3 p.m. game on Wednesday (Dec. 19) against Kentucky Christian at Kates Gymnasium.