Coming into the week, there were four undefeated men's basketball teams in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
Thanks to Ashland University's men's basketball team, there's only two – and AU is one of them.
Two days after topping previously-undefeated Grand Valley State on the road, 76-72 in overtime, the Eagles knocked off No. 13-ranked Ferris State, 57-51. Ashland is 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the GLIAC, and in a tie for first place in the GLIAC South Division with Walsh, while the Bulldogs are 7-1, 1-1.
The win is Ashland's first on the road against Ferris State since Jan. 12, 2002, and it is the Eagles' second win of the young 2015-16 season against a nationally-ranked opponent. The 7-0 start is AU's first since the 2002-03 team began 8-0.
Junior forward Wendell Davis paced Ashland with 22 points, four assists and four rebounds, and went 9-for-11 from the free-throw line. Davis has 945 career points with three straight home games coming up.
Sophomore forward Marsalis Hamilton recorded his second double-double of the season, ending with 14 points and 10 boards.
Ashland kept Ferris State to 30.5-percent shooting from the field and 28.6-percent shooting from the 3-point arc. The Eagles also turned 16 FSU turnovers into 17 points.
The Eagles led early by a 7-4 count before the Bulldogs went on a 12-0 run. Ferris State later led 20-10, then Ashland came back with 13 straight points of its own to end the half. FSU didn't score in the final 6:05 of the half, and AU went into the break leading, 23-20.
Ferris State led 26-25 early in the second half before Ashland went on another run, this one 9-0, to take a 34-26 lead with 11:55 left in regulation. By the time the Bulldogs called a timeout with 9:31 to go in the second half, the Eagles led by a 41-30 count.
Nine straight points got Ferris State within two points at 41-39, and Ashland led 43-41 before freshman guard Nick Bapst hit a 3-pointer and Davis followed with a layup for a seven-point advantage going into the game's final two minutes. The Bulldogs attempted a late rally, but Davis' two charity tosses with eight seconds left sealed the victory.
Ashland will play its GLIAC home opener on Wednesday (Dec. 9) at 7:30 p.m. against the other remaining undefeated team in the conference, Hillsdale (5-0, 2-0). It will be Youth Basketball Night/Christmas at Kates/Canned Food Drive at Kates Gymnasium.
EAGLE NUGGETS: The Eagles are 28-11 (.718) in their last 39 games…The 51 points allowed to the Bulldogs were Ashland's fewest yielded in a GLIAC game since Jan. 22, 2015, an 80-47 home win against Findlay…Ashland's five bench 3-pointers were the second-most of the season.