For the second time in three days, Ashland University's women's basketball team used a late-second-half run and a big second half to pull away from a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent on the road.
On Saturday (Jan. 12), the No. 7-ranked Eagles outscored Purdue Northwest 15-7 to finish the second quarter, then 62-28 in the second half, to bring home a decisive 112-68 win. Ashland is 15-1 overall and 7-1 in the GLIAC following its eighth consecutive victory, while the Pride is 2-12, 0-8, after their ninth consecutive loss.
Prior to Saturday, Ashland ranked as the conference's top-scoring team at 91.9 points per contest. The Eagles have scored in triple figures in consecutive games, and for the sixth time this season.
There was a milestone reached in AU's latest victory, as senior guard Maddie Dackin became the 22nd player in program history to score 1,000 career points. Dackin tied her career high with 23 points, giving her 1,012 at Ashland. She was 8-of-11 from the field, and also played in her 118th career game, tying her for eighth place in AU women's basketball history with Rachelle Morrison, DeAndria Bethune and McKenzie Miller.
THE TOP TEN
1. For the second straight contest, junior guard Renee Stimpert posted big numbers in the points and assists columns. She scored 18 points and dished out seven assists, leaving her with 498 career helpers (Alyssa Miller has the AU career record with 568).
2. Continuing her stat-sheet-stuffing ways of late was junior forward Sara Loomis, who ended Saturday's game with 13 points, 10 rebounds, five blocks and three assists. It was Loomis' seventh double-double of 2018-19, and she moves into third place on Ashland's career blocks list with 127.
3. Off the bench, junior forward/guard Sarah Hart scored a career-high 15 points on 7-of-8 from the field, and added seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior guard Brooke Smith went for 11 points, and sophomore forward Sara Price rounded out six Eagles in double-digit scoring with a career-high 10 points in 12 minutes.
4. Ashland finished with a field-goal percentage of 54.9, marking the eighth time this season the Eagles have shot that well in a game. AU also had a 45-36 rebounding advantage.
5. Defensively, Ashland forced 26 turnovers, and allowed PNW to shoot just 36.1 percent from the field – and just 31.1 percent in the final three quarters.
6. The Eagles have won at least 15 games in 14 of the last 16 seasons.
7. The end of the game's first 10 minutes saw Ashland with a slim 25-23 lead, as Purdue Northwest made 8-of-16 from the field. The Eagles turned the ball over just two times in the first quarter, but were out-shot by the Pride (50.0 percent to 41.7).
8. At the half, the Eagles' advantage had moved to 10 points at 50-40. Dackin had one point (12) more than she needed to get to 1,000 in her career, while Loomis had 11 points and eight rebounds. Ashland kept the Pride to just 5-of-15 from the field, and in the first 20 minutes, eight PNW turnovers turned into 10 AU points.
9. The Eagles began to pull away early in the third quarter thanks to seven consecutive points, and that was the impetus for a 34-14 period, and a 84-54 lead going into the final stanza.
10. For the Pride, Danielle Nennig was high scorer with 16 points, followed by Tayler Vauters with 11 and Lanie Allen with 10.
A return to Kates Gymnasium on Thursday (Jan. 17) at 5:30 p.m., taking on Saginaw Valley State (3-12, 3-5).