ASHLAND Media timeouts occur every five minutes in Division II basketball.
Actually, that's not entirely accurate. The clock has to get under 15 minutes in a half. After that, the next clock stoppage means a timeout.
So it's never a good sign when you reach the game's first media timeout, and your team hasn't scored yet.
It's an especially bad sign when you're playing the best team in the country.
But that was the unenviable position Pam Oswald found her Tiffin Dragons in Saturday against Ashland.
The Eagles, undefeated and the No. 1 team in Division II, launched an early assault on the Dragons that left TU in a 17-0 hole.
The Dragons didn't score until a Jordan Fraley jumper with 14:38 left in the first half.
"I was disappointed in the way we came out from the get go," Oswald said. "Playing the No. 1 team in the country should make you wanna rise up from your bootstraps and get after it a little bit more."
The basket didn't start a TU rally. Instead, Ashland's lead kept growing: To 28-4 with 9:42 left in the half, to 40-14 at the 4:46 mark, and to 45-18 in the final seconds of the half before TU's Melissa Gilliland made a steal and scored a layup just before the buzzer.
And though TU battled in the second half, it never got close to Ashland, which won, 87-47.
"There's a reason why they're the No. 1 team in the country," Oswald said. "They do things very efficiently and buy into what they're doing."
Ashland got scoring from all over the place in the win. All five of its starters scored in double figures. Leading the way was Taylor Woods, who had 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Lindsay Tenyak had 11 points and Alyssa Miller added 13, while Ashley Dorner had 10 points and Daiva Gerbec had 12 points. Gerbec went over 1,000 points for her career with the performance.
Ashland was lethal from 3-point range, making 10 of 22.
Tiffin's lone offensive bright spot was Macy Byrd, who had 14 points off the bench.
The Dragons only run was a 6-0 spurt with about 13 minutes left. A Mary Kate Campbell layup made it 55-32.
"I called timeout," said Ashland coach Sue Ramsey. "I stomped a little bit."
It was just about the only time Ashland, or its coach, was in complete control. But the Eagles responded with an 8-0 run.