In its final tune-up prior to the start of the 2019-20 season, Ashland University's women's basketball team lost on Friday (Nov. 1) night in an exhibition game at NCAA Division I Dayton, 77-67.
Trailing 27-17 with 6:47 left until halftime, Ashland ran off six straight points on driving layups from senior forward Sara Loomis and senior guard Jodi Johnson, and two free throws by freshman forward Annie Roshak. The run became 10-2 following two charity tosses from sophomore guard Hallie Heidemann and a Roshak layup, and the Eagles trailed 29-27 going into the final two minutes of the second quarter.
Dayton claimed a 33-27 advantage at the break, with the Eagles keeping the Flyers to 29.7 percent from the field. Ashland turned the ball over 15 times in the game's first 20 minutes, but UD converted those into just six points.
Behind by a 39-32 count early in the third quarter, the Eagles went on another spurt, this one 10-2 to give them a 42-41 lead thanks to Roshak's layup at the 3:43 mark. Heidemann's triple extended the advantage to 45-43 just 31 seconds later.
By the end of the third period, Ashland led 54-53 thanks to a late triple by senior guard/forward Sarah Hart, who had 10 points in the quarter. The Eagles were 12-of-18 from the field in the third, including 3-of-4 from downtown.
The fourth quarter started slow in the scoring column, with neither team posting a tally for the first 2:50. Dayton scored the fourth's first nine points to go on top, 62-54.
Hart's jumper cut the AU deficit to two points at 63-61 with 3:26 to play, but the Eagles couldn't get any closer the rest of the way.
Leading the way for Ashland offensively was Hart with 16 points, while Johnson ended with 14 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Senior guard Renee Stimpert added 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Loomis chipped in with nine points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots.
In 2018-19, Ashland finished 29-3 overall and 18-2 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, winning the GLIAC Tournament qualifying for the NCAA Division II playoffs for the fifth year in a row. Dayton was 17-14 overall and 10-6 in the Atlantic 10 a season ago.
The Eagles will officially begin 2019-20 with two games in Louisville, Ky. – Nov. 8 at 12:30 p.m. vs. Cedarville, and Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. vs. Ohio Dominican.