The Ashland University men's basketball team raced out to a 21-point halftime lead and will head into the Christmas break with a 110-56 win over Kentucky Christian on Wednesday (Dec. 19) afternoon at Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles (10-0), ranked No. 16 in Division II, have now surpassed the 1989-90 team for the second-best start to a season in program history. The 1990-91 Eagles started the season with 15 straight wins.
On Wednesday, the Eagles dominated from the outset with terrific ball movement against the Knights (2-17) with 17 assists on 21 made baskets. Overall, the Eagles finished the game shooting 59.5 percent (44-for-74) from the field. They also ended the game with 35 assists against just 11 turnovers.
Ashland also scored the most points in the 10 years of the John Ellenwood coaching era. The last time the Eagles scored that many was in a 111-59 win over Tiffin on Nov. 15, 2007.
The Eagles hit a season-high 15 3-pointers – their most in a game since they hit 15 in a win at Davenport on Dec. 9, 2017.
The Knights stayed in the game early by hitting seven 3-pointers in the first half. They trailed 25-22 with 8:49 left in the half, but Ashland wound up finishing the half on a 10-0 run, capped by an alley-oop slam by sophomore forward Derek Koch off a feed from senior guard Ben Haraway.
In the second half, the lead never slipped under 20 points as the Eagles were able to bring in their reserve unit, which was able to drastically extend the lead. AU's bench out-paced the Knights, 45-27.
Six players finished in double figures, led by junior guard Rodrick Caldwell, who had 17 points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds. He shot 3-for-4 from 3-point range and 7-for-8 from the field. He is now shooting 58.1 percent (25-for-43) from 3-point range in his last six contests.
Junior center Drew Noble had 15 points while Koch registered a double-double with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three assists.
Senior forward Phil Frentsos chipped in 13 points off the bench and senior guard Jay Slone scored a career-high 11 points on 3-for-6 shooting from long range. Haraway had 10 points, five rebounds and six assists.
Redshirt-sophomore wing Aaron Thompson had nine points, four rebounds and six assists and freshman guard Dylan Beaugard added five assists in nine minutes off the bench. Senior forward John Brady scored seven points and sophomore guard Colin Nieberding had six points.
Ashland out-rebounded Kentucky Christian by a 50-33 margin.
The Eagles will now have the next nine days off before returning to the Kates Gymnasium floor next Saturday (Dec. 29) against Westminster (Pa.). Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.