Defending national champs throttle TU

Top-ranked Eagles force Dragons into 35 turnovers

PHOTO BY STEVE WILLIAMS Tiffin University's Kiley May drives to the hole as Ashland's Jodi Johnson looks to create a turnover opportunity Saturday at the Gillmor Center.

Of all the statistics from Saturday’s game between Ashland and Tiffin Saturday, one jumped off the page.

The Eagles, the No. 1 team in Division II and the defending national champions, forced 35 Dragon turnovers, and converted them into 56 points.

Tiffin scored 56 points, period.

The Eagles had five players score in double figures, led 39-12 after the first quarter, and thrashed TU, 121-56 at the Gillmor Center.

The 121 points scored by Ashland matched the 1975 Grand Valley State Lakers for the most scored in a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game. It was also the third straight time Ashland has reached the century mark against the Dragons.

Ashland improved to 11-0, 5-0 in the GLIAC. It has made a habit of routing opponents. Its last six wins have come by no less than 26 points.

“They’re really, really good, and they do that to every team,” TU coach Jason Mischler said. “If you’re not aggressive against them, they’re gonna turn the table, and we weren’t.”

In the first quarter, the Eagles had 16 points off turnovers.

“You can’t turn the ball over against them. That’s easier said than done,” Mishler said.

Ashland was paced by Jodi Johnson, who went 9 of 12 from the floor for 22 points. Maddi Dacklin added a career high 21 points, while Renee Stimpart added a career-high 17. Andi Daugherty added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Laina Snyder had 10 points.

“Balanced scoring, that’s a big part of what we do, and sharing the ball and having a lot of weapons, different people who can score,” said Ashland coach Robyn Fralick. “Tonight, we had a lot of people do that.”

The Eagles finished shooting 42 of 74, 13 of 29 from 3-point range, and made 24 of 28 free throws. They also held Tiffin to 22 of 52 shooting from the floor.

Fralick said despite the stats, her team wasn’t perfect.

“Basketball’s a game of a ton of mistakes, there’s a lot of mistakes throughout the whole game,” Fralick said. “The goal is always to try and minimize them, so, I’m sure we’ll see the film and see areas we want to continue to improve in.”

The Dragons (3-7, 1-4) only had one player — Cynthia Concepcion — score in double figures. She went 6 of 11 from the floor and finished with 15 points. She also led TU with seven rebounds.

“She’s a kid who — against a lot of GLIAC teams — could average 10-12 points. We think that’s the type of player she is,” Mishler said. “This is more like what we feel like she’s gonna do if she gets comfortable being in a new system. For us as a team, we didn’t really think anything of it, because I look at her as a kid that’s a 10-12 point kid in the GLIAC.”

Annie Santucci had nine points for the Dragons, while Madison Jackson had seven points.