The Ashland University men's basketball team held Northwood to just 19 points in the first half and hit free throws down the stretch to hold off the Timberwolves, 75-60, on Saturday (Jan. 19) afternoon at Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles (16-1, 9-1 GLIAC), ranked No. 8 in the NABC Division II coaches' poll, stayed undefeated at Kates Gymnasium this season and hold a two-game lead in the GLIAC standings.
The teams were tied at 10 with 12:38 left in the first half when senior forward Phil Frentsos came off the bench to provide Ashland's next nine points, giving the Eagles a 19-12 lead.
"That's why it's good to have seniors out there," said fellow senior guard Ben Haraway. "Phil is very experienced, he's played for the last three-and-a-half years now, and he stepped up when we needed him out there."
Northwood (7-11, 4-6 GLIAC) cut the margin down to six, 25-19, with 1:47 left in the half, but the Eagles closed on a 6-0 run, capped by Aaron Thompson's 3-pointer, to take a 31-19 lead into the intermission.
The Eagles held the 'Wolves to just 28 percent (9-for-32) shooting in the first half.
Ashland forced three straight turnovers to start the second half and grew its lead to 20 points on a basket by junior center Drew Noble with 15:29 to play.
The Eagles then got cold from the field and Northwood went on a 10-0 run to cut it to 41-31 before Harway sank a couple free throws with 12 minutes left.
"We needed Ben. He always steps up at the right time," said head coach John Ellenwood. "It seems like every year we have a guy who steps up at the right time and this year it's Ben. He's very competitive, hates losing, loves winning. He wants the ball in that situation. We just try and find him and let him go a little bit."
A jumper by junior guard Rodrick Caldwell with 6:43 remaining gave the Eagles a 59-45 lead, but the Timberwolves scored the next eight points to cut it to 59-53 with three minutes to go.
The visitors had a chance to get within three, but Alec Marty missed from long range and Haraway countered with a layup. Caldwell's free throws pushed the Eagles' lead back to 10 and Thompson's three-point play gave the Eagles a 68-54 lead with a minute left.
Haraway led the Eagles with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. Sophomore forward Derek Koch, Thompson and Caldwell had 14 points apiece.
Trey McBride and Ja'Kavien Lewis had 17 points each for the Timberwolves. The teams were even in rebounds at 38.
The Eagles will return to the court on Tuesday (Jan. 22) at 6 p.m. to take on Ohio-Chillicothe at Kates Gymnasium.