With 50.7 seconds left in Saturday (Feb. 24) afternoon's game at Kates Gymnasium, Ashland University senior forwards Andi Daugherty, Laina Snyder and Julie Worley came off the floor to a rousing ovation.
Luckily for them and the top-ranked Eagles, it won't be their last home game.
On Senior Day Saturday, Ashland defeated Northwood, 101-77, to end the 2017-18 regular season at 28-0 overall and 20-0 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Timberwolves are 16-10, 12-8.
Daugherty scored 21 points, including a season-high four 3-point field goals, and added four rebounds and five assists. Snyder posted 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists, and Worley added five points on 2-of-2 from the field.
"I care very deeply for my fellow seniors," Daugherty said, "and the journey that we've been on for four years has been unbelievable. This team, going undefeated...the freshman and sophomore class hasn't lost a game yet, so it's something that's embedded in our culture."
Ashland has won 65 consecutive games, the sixth-best winning streak in NCAA basketball history, regardless of level or gender. The Eagles also have finished back-to-back regular seasons undefeated.
In scoring 100 points for the 17th time this season, Ashland is one such game away from tying the NCAA women's basketball all-levels record of 18, set by Glenville State in 2013-14.
1. Sophomore guard Jodi Johnson paced Ashland with 24 points, while adding four rebounds, four assists and five steals. Sophomore guard Renee Stimpert rounded out four Eagles in double-digit scoring with 11 points, while adding five rebounds, six assists and four steals.
2. Ashland's defense forced 29 turnovers on Saturday, resulting in 40 points. That negated Northwood's 11 triples, 10 of which came in the first three quarters.
3. The Eagles hit 48.7 percent from the field in the game, including 55.0 percent in the second half.
4. Daugherty and Snyder played in their 129th career games on Saturday, tying Lindsay Tenyak for second-most in program history.
5. Ashland missed its first five shots from the field as the Timberwolves took early leads of 6-0 and 8-1. The Eagles worked it back to a 10-10 game, then a 14-10 lead at the game's first media timeout thanks to six Northwood turnovers in the first 5½ minutes.
6. Thanks to four 3-pointers, Northwood took an 18-16 lead into the final two minutes of the opening quarter. A total of five triples helped the T'Wolves to a 21-all tie after the first 10 minutes, while the Eagles uncharacteristically shot 38.1 percent from the field and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line.
7. In the second quarter, Ashland outscored Northwood, 22-11, thanks to a defense which kept the Timberwolves scoreless for more than five minutes heading toward halftime. The Eagles forced 16 turnovers and scored 19 points off of them in the game's first 20 minutes, and turned the ball over just twice themselves.
"Our second-quarter defense was much better than our first quarter," said Ashland head coach Robyn Fralick, now 96-2 (.980) as a head coach. "We contested. The shots were contested shots."
8. Northwood cut the AU lead to 54-49 midway through the third quarter, but the Eagles worked it back to a double-double lead by the end of the stanza, 70-57. Stimpert put the exclamation point on the quarter with a triple to close it out.
9. The Eagles pulled away in the early part of the final quarter, and a 14-0 run going into the game's final media timeout sealed the victory.
10. Lindsay Orwat led all scorers for Northwood with 29 points, Maddy Seeley added 16 and Karli Herrington finished with 15.
The start of the 2018 GLIAC Tournament, a home quarterfinal game vs. Davenport on Wednesday (Feb. 28) at 5:30 p.m.
"It was special, but we plan on playing a lot more games in this gym," Daugherty said. "I don't think any of the seniors got too emotional. I know our parents did."