Top-seeded Ashland survives Quincy
Daugherty’s 28 points, 22 rebounds help Eagles hold on
ASHLAND, Ohio -- Top-seeded Ashland found its engaged with a team willing to run. Fifth-seeded Quincy and the highest scoring team in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, had no problem going up and down the floor with the Eagles. Ashland outlasted the Hawks in the final seconds to advance to the Round of 16.
AU led 33-26 at halftime and with 17:47 to go in the game, had a 14-point advantage, 43-29. The Hawks (22-8) battled back to tie the game, 68-68 with 1:44 left. Ashland took the lead for keeps, 69-68 when sophomore guard Alyssa Miller hit a free throw with 1:19 remaining. A pair of free throws by junior forward Kari Daugherty put AU in front, 71-68 with six seconds to go.
At that point, Quincy got the ball in-bounds and Ashland fouled immediately to prevent the Hawks from lofting a 3-pointer. Quincy scoring machine Ali Schwagmeyer made one of two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to bring the Hawks to within 71-69. Schawmeyer's miss at the line came on the second half of a one-and-one. The ball rolled out of bounds with 1.5 seconds left and although the Hawks got the ball in-bounds one more time, they couldn't get a shot off before the final horn.
The 71-69 win was Ashland's 30th consecutive and gives AU a 30-1 record.
This was AU's 22nd consecutive win at home dating back to last season. This 30-game overall winning streak ties the school record for any team, equaling the mark of the 30-game win streak of the 1998 softball team.
"It's an honor and privilege to coach these young ladies," AU head coach Sue Ramsey said. "It was a great NCAA tournament game if you didn't care who won. They laid it on the line, we laid it on the line and at the end someone had to be ahead. I'm thankful it was the Eagles."
From start to finish, this game tested the nerves of players, coaches and fans. Quincy led 10-3 with 16:11 to go in the first half and had a 13-5 lead with 15:03 to go in the half. Ashland quickly regrouped and had a 25-20 lead with four minutes to go until halftime. In that early spurt, Schwagmeyer, a muscular 5-11 senior forward, pumped in three, 3-pointers. She would finish the game with 17 points. After those three early triples, she had just one triple the rest of the way.
Two talents allowed the Hawks to climb back into this game. First, they went 11-of-29 from 3-point range (37.9 percent). In the second half, Quincy was 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from behind the arc.
"I'm very proud of the way we responded," Quincy head coach Jeni Garber said. "We could have folded but we kept battling against a great team on their home court. We should be proud and walk out of her with our heads held high."
"They hit some tough 3s, especially a couple of girls we didn't think would do that," Daugherty said. "Obviously we didn't make the adjustments quick enough."
The Hawks did an excellent job of holding AU senior guard Jena Stutzmanin check, yet they could do nothing with Daugherty. Stutzman's been on a roll lately, but the Hawks held her to nine points and she made just 4-of-14 field goal tries. Daugherty had 28 points, 22 rebounds, five assists and two steals. That rebound total is one shy of the NCAA tournament single-game record. Daugherty had 20 points and 10 rebounds in the second half. This was her 23rd double-double of the season and her 13th consecutive.
"28 points and 22 boards, that's not too bad," said Schwagmeyer, who was matched against Daugherty for part of the evening. "I'll give it to her, she's a very good player. It's hard to defend her."