The Ashland University men's basketball team turned in a dominant defensive effort in knocking off Westminster, 87-64, in its final Christmas break tune-up on Saturday (Dec. 29) afternoon at Kates Gymnasium.
The Eagles (11-0), ranked 10th in Division II, held the Titans (4-9) to just 34 percent (22-for-65) shooting, forced 19 turnovers, blocked five shots, and out-rebounded the visitors, 52-43.
Junior center Drew Noble used a size mismatch to his advantage as he went for 24 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th career double-double. Redshirt-sophomore wing Aaron Thompson totaled 16 points and matched a career high with 15 rebounds to go along with four steals and two blocks.
The Eagles got off to a slow start in their first game in 10 days, but quickly rallied with a 10-2 run to take a 14-6 lead with 14:23 left in the first half.
The Titans worked the margin down to three points a few minutes later, but Ashland quickly ballooned its lead to double digits with a 3-pointer by senior guard Ben Haraway with 8:21 remaining before halftime. The lead never slipped under 10 the rest of the way as the Eagles took a 42-26 lead into the intermission.
In the second half, the Eagles cruised and extended their lead to 30 points on another bucket by Thompson with six minutes remaining.
Senior forward Phil Frentsos nearly had the Eagles' third double-double of the game, contributing nine points and nine boards in 24 minutes off the bench as he continued his consisten play this season. Haraway was the third AU player in double figures with 12 points, two assists, two blocks and two steals.
Junior guard Rodrick Caldwell chipped in nine points and dished out a career-high eight assists. The Eagles handed out 26 assists on 33 made field goals while committing just eight turnovers.
Austin Armwood and Lloyd Chatman had 14 points apiece for the Titans, who were a member of the GLIAC for two years (1998-2000).
The Eagles will take their unblemished record into Thursday's (Jan. 3) game against Michigan Tech at Kates Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.