The City of Ashland has been asking its citizens throughout this holiday season to shop downtown prior to Christmas.
Ashland University's women's basketball team gave downtown plenty of business in its final game of the 2019 calendar year on Sunday (Dec. 22) afternoon, as the No. 4-ranked Eagles tied a school record with 18 3-point field goals in a 95-55 victory over Southern Indiana at Kates Gymnasium.
"When teams come up against us, they have to try to decide what they are going to take away," said Ashland head coach Kari Pickens, now 40-3 (.930) in her young head-coaching career. "USI played in a zone for so long, trying to take away our post presence, and I thought we did a really good job of getting ball movement, of getting inside-out actions, and kudos to the girls, because they had to knock down the shots."
The Eagles are 11-0 going into Christmas Break, while the Screaming Eagles are 5-2.
Ashland's 18 triples tied the program single-game mark originally set at Northwood on Jan. 20, 2018 – meaning Sunday's mark is the most triples in a home game in AU women's basketball annals.
THE MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
- Ashland kept USI to 1-of-6 shooting early on, jumping out on top 10-4 at the first media timeout. Stifling defense continued throughout the game's first 10 minutes, as the Eagles took a 20-10 lead over the Screaming Eagles into the second period.
- Senior guard Jodi Johnson recorded Ashland's first second-quarter points with a triple inside of the five-minute mark, but the Eagles still led 23-14. AU upped that advantage to 28-14, and by halftime, the run ended up being 22-7 to lift the Eagles to a 42-21 bulge. Ashland overcame 13 first-half turnovers by holding USI to 20-percent shooting, and outrebounding the Screaming Eagles 31-18.
- Ashland's 3-point barrage, which started with seven triples in the first half, continued in the third quarter, as the Eagles extended their lead to 57-29, and eventually, 71-40 through three thanks to seven treys in that quarter alone.
- Senior forward Sara Loomis finished the year strong, posting yet another double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) to go with four blocked shots.
- Sophomore guard Hallie Heidemann had a career-high 10 rebounds to go with 19 points, 18 of which came on six 3-pointers.
"As a guard, to be able to come in and get 10 rebounds, she was everywhere today," Pickens said. "Her growth this season has made a huge difference for us."
- Johnson ended the afternoon with 16 points, five rebounds and six assists, and freshman forward Annie Roshak made it four players in double-digit scoring for AU by adding 13 points off the bench.
- Senior point guard Renee Stimpert dished out 10 assists for her second consecutive double-digit helper game, and fourth of 2019-20. As a team, the Eagles had 28 assists on 32 made field goals.
- Ashland, one of the top rebounding teams in NCAA Division II entering the day, had a 48-29 boards advantage against USI.
- The Screaming Eagles were kept to 30.2-percent shooting from the field and 3-of-12 from beyond the arc.
- USI entered the game allowing 57.3 points per game, but the Eagles had scored 92.8 per contest entering Sunday afternoon, and finished Sunday with 95 points.
Christmas break, followed by the return to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Jan. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Northern Michigan (5-6). Ashland is the co-leader in the GLIAC South Division, while the Wildcats are a tri-leader in the GLIAC North.