On Thursday (Jan. 10) night at Parkside, Ashland University's women's basketball team's 14-0 run to end the first half was the springboard to a 61-point second half, en route to a 108-69 win over the Rangers.
The seventh-ranked Eagles improve to 14-1 overall and 6-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while Parkside is 4-9, 2-5.
Ashland scored in triple figures for the first time since Dec. 17 at home vs. Notre Dame College (103), and for the fifth time this season.
Entering Thursday night, Ashland and Parkside were the two best teams in the GLIAC in terms of fewest turnovers per game, at 13.1 and 13.2, respectively. The Eagles kept up their end of the bargain with 13 miscues, while the Rangers turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 29 AU points.
Ashland has won 38 of its last 40 GLIAC regular-season games away from Kates Gymnasium.
THE TOP TEN
1. Six Eagles scored at least 13 points on Thursday night, led by junior guard Renee Stimpert, who finished with a career-high-tying 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, to go with seven assists and four rebounds. Stimpert has 491 career assists, nine away from becoming the second player in program history to reach 500.
2. Junior forward Sara Loomis followed with 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks despite being limited to 22 minutes due to foul trouble. In her last five games, Loomis is averaging 19.6 points per contest.
3. Recording her first collegiate double-double was sophomore forward Karlee Pireu, who posted 16 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in just her fourth career start.
4. Senior guards Maddie Dackin (14) and Brooke Smith (13) also reached double figures in points, as did freshman guard Hallie Heidemann (13) off the bench. Dackin is getting closer to becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, now sporting 989 as an Eagle.
5. As a team, Ashland, which came into the contest as the top field-goal percentage team in NCAA Division II at 50.9, shot 61.4 percent against the Rangers. The Eagles were 12-of-24 from beyond the arc and 10-of-11 from the free-throw line, recorded 26 assists and out-rebounded Parkside by a 37-26 margin.
6. The Eagles scored the game's first six points, but the Rangers came back with five straight of their own. A back-and-forth first quarter ended with Ashland on top 25-21, as Stimpert had her fifth career period with double-digit points (10).
7. Early in the second stanza, the Eagles went up 31-22. Then, after Parkside cut its deficit to 33-32, Ashland ran off 14 consecutive points to lead by 15 at the halftime break. In the game's first 20 minutes, AU shot 54.1 percent from the floor, forced 12 Ranger turnovers and had a 20-14 rebounding advantage.
8. The third quarter basically was the Eagles keeping Parkside at arm's length, and the Ashland advantage heading into the fourth quarter was 77-54 thanks to a 30-point period.
9. Since the start of the 2012-13 season, Ashland is 21-3 in games not played either in Ohio or Michigan.
10. For Parkside, Carolina Rahkonen scored a team-high 14 points, and Shelby Cheston added a dozen points off the bench.
The completion of the quick two-game road trip on Saturday (Jan. 12) at 4 p.m. at Purdue Northwest (2-11, 0-7).