Ashland University's women's basketball team played its own version of Friday Night Lights at Kates Gymnasium – and made some more history in the process.
The No. 3-ranked Eagles defeated Davenport at home on Friday (Feb. 1) night, 94-57, extending their program-record home winning streak to 50 games. With its 12th straight victory overall, Ashland improves to 19-1 overall and 11-1 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
"It was a great team win," said Ashland head coach Kari Pickens. "It was a great team effort. We shared the ball really well, and I think we took high-percentage shots."
Winning at home clearly has become a habit for the Eagles, who have won 128 of 137 home games (.934) since the start of the 2011-12 season.
Ashland has started a season at either 20-0 or 19-1 for the fourth consecutive year, and the sixth time in the last eight seasons.
THE TOP TEN
1. Both junior guard/forward Jodi Johnson and freshman guard Hallie Heidemann finished with a team-high 14 points. Johnson now has 1,482 career points, three away from tying Vickie Schmitz (1,485) for sixth place on Ashland's all-time scoring list, and with 376 career made free throws, she passed Sue Rupp into third place on that AU list.
2. Junior forward Sara Loomis and sophomore forward Karlee Pireu each finished with 11 points, and senior guard Maddie Dackin chipped in with 10. Dackin moved into 20th place on the Eagles' all-time points list (1,057 career points), and is eight points away from 19th place (Alyssa Miller, 1,065). Dackin also now has 142 career 3-point field goals, tied with Jena Stutzman for fourth place on that AU all-time list.
3. For the fourth time this season, junior guard Renee Stimpert recorded a points-assists double-double, finishing Friday night with 10 points and 10 helpers. Stimpert rounded out six Eagle players in double-digit scoring in the victory.
4. The Eagles finished the night shooting 52.9 percent from the field, including a white-hot 73.7 percent in the second quarter. Ashland assisted on 25 of 37 made field goals.
5. Defensively, Ashland shined as well, as the Panthers were kept to 34.8-percent shooting from the field and a 2-for-17 showing from 3-point range. Twenty-one Davenport turnovers resulted in 19 Eagle points.
6. With games on back-to-back days, the Eagles got what they wanted in the way of minutes distribution – no Ashland player saw time in more than 24 minutes on Friday night.
"We talked about this game coming in, that we weren't focused on tomorrow's game. We were focused on using this game to get better," Pickens said. "We're always saying we want to be the best version of ourselves, and today, I think we took a step closer to doing that."
7. Ashland jumped out early, scoring the game's first nine points en route to a 21-13 advantage through the game's first 10 minutes. In that first quarter, the Eagles outrebounded the Panthers by a 2-1 margin (14-7), and kept DU to 6-of-17 shooting from the field.
8. The second quarter saw Ashland explode for 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. Stimpert had seven of her assists in the second period alone, the Eagles scored six points on five Panther turnovers, and Davenport made just 6-of-19 field-goal attempts.
9. Ashland is 5-0 all-time against Davenport, with the average margin of victory coming in at 94-56.
10. Leading the way for Davenport (5-14, 3-9) was Jenna Falkenberg with 21 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots.
A game for first place alone in the GLIAC standings, Saturday (Feb. 2) at 2 p.m. vs. Grand Valley State (18-2, 11-1) at "The Kates."