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TUESDAY, MARCH 1
SATURDAY, FEB. 26
THURSDAY, FEB. 24
Ashland 79, Findlay 62
Many Ashland University men's basketball teams have attempted to win at Findlay since Jan. 19, 2002.
None of those teams had guard Brandon Haraway.
The Eagles junior scored a game-high 26 points, 17 in the second half, and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds as Ashland outscored the Oilers 52-22 in the second 20 minutes of a 79-62 win on Thursday night.
"It's a huge win for us for a couple of reasons," said Ashland coach John Ellenwood. "We beat a great team on their floor. Some of our guys weren't alive the last time that happened. Our guys, they never give up. They are a veteran team.
"They know that they had a better half in them, and they showed it in the second half."
Said Haraway, "Findlay got us the first time. We were a little down in the first half, so we knew we had to come out with some more energy, and that's exactly what we did.
"This is just a statement…from here on out, we're here to play. Coach Wood tells us the toughest team always wins. We'll do whatever it takes to get the win."
Ashland is 18-8 overall and 14-5 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, while Findlay is 17-9, 11-7. The Eagles won at Findlay for the first time since a 92-80 decision more than 20 years ago.
There was little room separating the two teams early on, and Findlay had a 12-9 lead in the game's first five minutes. A 3-point field goal from Haraway put Ashland ahead 15-14, but the Eagles went nearly four minutes scoreless thereafter.
Ashland trailed 26-21 before the Oilers scored the game's next six points. By halftime, the Eagles were facing a 13-point deficit at 40-27.
Haraway's triple made Findlay's lead a single-digit one again at 42-33, and that started a 9-0 run to get back in the game. Trailing 49-41, the Eagles rallied once again, going on another run – this one 10-0 – to go on top at 51-49.
Ashland didn't let its collective foot off the gas, building a 58-51 lead to force an Oiler timeout. Haraway was the catalyst, scoring the last five points of the sequence and having 23 points overall with 6:51 to play.
Thanks to a jumper from sophomore guard Hunter Shedenhelm, Ashland led by double figures at 63-53. It was a 65-55 advantage with five minutes to go, and Shedenhelm's triple put AU back ahead by 10 at 68-58.
Haraway's old-fashioned 3-point play lifted the Eagles to a 71-58 lead, and the Oilers never threatened the rest of the way.
Haraway now has 1,048 career points, and he moved into 30th place on the Eagles' all-time scoring list.
Senior forward Aaron Thompson collected 18 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. With 1,517 career points, he moves into 10th place on AU's all-time scoring list.
With 12 points, senior guard Bo Furcron rounded out three Eagles in double-digit scoring.
The Eagles shot 53.7 percent from the field, 67.9 percent in the second half. AU had a 38-27 rebounding advantage, and kept Findlay to 40.0 percent from the floor and 20.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Ashland has one more regular-season game remaining, and it's a key one – at 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium on senior day versus Hillsdale (19-6, 14-5). The winner of the game will be assured a bye into the 2022 Great Midwest Tournament Final Four on March 4-5.
"They showed that they want something more. They want a special season," Ellenwood said. "We've got one more regular-season game against a very, very good basketball team that we had a slugfest with the last time we played them on their floor.
"Let's just play as hard as we can for those guys that have given us so much. That's a simple message going into Saturday."
SATURDAY, FEB. 19
Ashland 81, Malone 71
CANTON — There's a first time for everything.
For Ashland University's men's basketball team on Saturday at Malone, it became the first team to beat the Pioneers on their home floor in 2021-22, 81-71.
The Eagles are 17-8 overall and 13-5 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, while the Pioneers are 17-7, 12-5.
"We beat a great team on their floor," said coach John Ellenwood. "I thought it was a hard-fought victory. I'm very proud of our guys' effort on both ends. They're a tough team. It's a team you don't want to see again.
"Our guys played their hearts out."
Heading into the final week of the regular season, Ashland is tied for second place in the league standings with Hillsdale, one game behind Walsh.
"These games are tough," Ellenwood said. "This is a tough league. We've got to be the toughest team going into the tournament."
A strong start from 3-point range (three makes in the first five attempts) put Ashland ahead 13-8 at the first media timeout of the game. Back-to-back Pioneers 3-pointers gave them the lead at 14-13, but a 7-0 spurt swung the momentum back to the Eagles.
That momentum didn't stop there, however. By the time Ashland boasted a 28-17 lead, the run was 15-3. The Eagles led 35-20 before the Pioneers ran off seven points in a row.
At the break, Ashland led 43-30, with the major factors being a 9-for-15 effort from the arc, 10 assists on 16 made field goals and four turnovers. The majority of the Eagles' offense in the first 20 minutes came from junior guard Brandon Haraway (14 points), senior forward Derek Koch (14) and senior guard Bo Furcron (11).
Ashland didn't let up to start the second half, either. Back-to-back 3s from sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner put the Eagles ahead 53-34, but Malone had a 7-0 answer prior to the first media timeout of the half.
The Pioneers kept chipping away at their deficit, working the score to 62-52 halfway through the second half, then 65-57 with nine minutes to go and then 65-59 just outside of the eight-minute mark.
Senior forward Aaron Thompson stopped the Malone momentum with a back-down layup, then he did it again with a driving layup for a 69-59 AU lead with 6:20 to play.
Malone kept coming, and two free throws out of the last media timeout made it a 69-65 Eagles advantage. Junior guard Ethan Conley scored AU's first bench points of the game, a 3-pointer, to put the team up 74-67, then two free throws made the lead nine points going into the final minute.
"Ethan has hit some big shots for us this year," Ellenwood said. "He's had some big 3s for us lately."
All five Eagles starters scored in double figures – Haraway (20 points), Koch (17), Furcron (16), Thompson (12) and Baumgardner (11). Koch and Thompson each had nine rebounds.
Ashland shot 48.3% from the field, dishing out 16 assists in 28 made field goals. The Eagles turned the ball over just nine times.
Ashland will begin the last week of the regular season at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Findlay.
"It's a great feeling when this time of the year comes around and you are in the hunt for something special," Ellenwood said. "Our guys know that. We still aren't playing our best basketball, so I think that's the most exciting thing."
THURSDAY, FEB. 17
SATURDAY, FEB. 12
Ashland 75, Kentucky Wesleyan 71 (OT)
The most successful men's basketball team in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference since the new year began now is in first place in the conference standings.
On Saturday afternoon at Kentucky Wesleyan, Ashland University recorded a 75-71 overtime win over the Panthers.
The Eagles are 16-7 overall and 12-4 in the Great Midwest after their 10th victory in the last 12 outings, and they are a half-game ahead of both Walsh and Malone in the league standings.
Kentucky Wesleyan is 12-14, 7-11.
Ashland led 9-3 in the early going and 18-11 with 8½ minutes left in the first half. The Panthers then went on an 8-0 run to take a 19-18 lead.
At halftime, the Eagles had a 28-25 lead, and the defense stood out – keeping Kentucky Wesleyan to 29.6% from the field in the first 20 minutes.
Another AU first-half highlight was senior forward Aaron Thompson, who posted 11 points and five rebounds.
Ashland pulled ahead 36-28 early in the second half, but the Panthers went on another run – this one 11-0 to go up 39-36 and force an Eagles timeout.
Trailing 43-42 with 13 minutes to play, the Eagles scored the next six points, and the close play continued. Ashland began to pull away, leading 62-54 at the last media timeout.
Once again, the Panthers went on a run – 8-0 this time to tie the game in the final minute. Both teams missed a final shot to force overtime.
Thompson's three-point play with less than two minutes to go in the extra period put the Eagles up 69-66. Junior forward Ethan Conley's 3-pointer in the final minute of OT iced the victory.
Junior guard Brandon Haraway (29 points) and Thompson (27) combined for 56 of AU's 75 points. Thompson added 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Haraway, who has scored 107 points in the last four games (26.8 ppg.), grabbed six boards and added three assists and three steals.
The Eagles shot 48.4% from the field while keeping the Panthers to 37.5%.
Ashland returns to the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium for a Great Midwest first-place showdown with Walsh (16-6, 11-4) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17.
Prior to that, the first set of NCAA Division II Midwest Regional rankings will be announced on Feb. 16) afternoon.
THURSDAY, FEB. 10
Ashland 65, Trevecca Nazarene 51
Ashland University's men's basketball team continues to be within striking distance of first place in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference following a 65-51 win at Trevecca Nazarene on Thursday night.
The Eagles, winners of nine of their last 11 games, are 15-7 overall and 11-4 in the Great Midwest – remaining a half-game behind first-place Malone and Walsh. The Trojans are 5-19, 2-15.
For the eighth consecutive season, Ashland has won at least 15 games.
The Eagles swept the season series against Trevecca, also taking a 70-46 decision on Jan. 24 at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium.
The Trojans scored the first four points, and it was 4-0 almost four minutes in before the Eagles scored the game's next five points. There was little room between the two teams for the entirety of the first half, and going into the break, Ashland had a 35-29 advantage.
Defense carried the Eagles in the first 20 minutes, as they forced 11 turnovers.
Ashland extended its lead to 40-29 after scoring the second half's first five points, but the Trojans continued to hang around, trailing 48-41 at the 11:40 mark of the half.
Looking to put the game away, the Eagles did just that, coming out of the media timeout on a 13-4 run to go up by 16 points at 61-45.
Senior guard Bo Furcron led AU with 21 points, and junior guard Brandon Haraway added 16 points, four rebounds and five assists. Haraway (958) needs 42 points to reach the 1,000-point mark as an Eagle.
Senior forward Aaron Thompson posted seven points, six rebounds and four steals, and in the process, he moved into 12th place on the Eagles' all-time scoring list (1,440 points).
Defensively, Ashland kept Trevecca to 4 of 20 from 3-point range and forced 21 turnovers — the 11th time in 2021-22 the Eagles have forced 15 or more miscues.
Thursday night marked the 12th time in 22 games this season that Ashland has yielded 60 or fewer points.
Ashland will finish its southern road trip at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 12 at Kentucky Wesleyan.
SATURDAY, FEB. 5
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 2
Tiffin 100, Ashland 97 (OT)
Despite a career-high 41 points from junior guard Brandon Haraway, Ashland University's men's basketball team lost 100-97 in overtime Wednesday night at Tiffin.
The Eagles are 13-7 overall and 9-4 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, while the Dragons are 8-12, 3-9. The loss snapped Ashland's five-game winning streak.
At the first media timeout, the Dragons led 17-9, and by the second media stoppage, the Tiffin lead was 26-12 — thanks to an 11 for 13 start from the field.
Ashland scored the next 15 points to take a 27-26 lead. That led to quite an offensive end to the first half, as the Dragons took a 52-42 advantage into the locker room. Both teams shot at least 60% from the field (Tiffin 65.6, Ashland 60.0), and the two teams combined for 14 3-pointers (Tiffin eight, Ashland six).
Tiffin continued to lead by 10 points at 61-51, but then the Eagles had another run in them, this time the 8-0 variety to get the deficit down to two points. Ashland knotted the score at 64 on a layup from senior guard Bo Furcron, then a layup from senior forward Aaron Thompson gave the Eagles a 68-67 lead.
Trailing 82-77, another Eagles run — this one 9-1 — put Ashland back on top at 86-83. Tiffin tied the game at 86, then, after two Thompson free throws, the Dragons tied the game again at 88 to force the extra period.
In the overtime period, Tiffin went 10 of 12 from the free-throw line en route to the victory.
Haraway was 15 for 22 from the field, 5 of 7 from downtown and 6 of 8 from the free-throw line. He added 10 rebounds and three assists.
Thompson added 18 points, 10 boards, five assists and two blocks. He needs just six rebounds to become the second player in program history with 1,000 in a career.
Furcron scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting.
Ashland made 56.7% from the field, 39.3% from beyond the arc and 83.3% from the free-throw line. The Dragons hit 55.6% from the floor, 50.0% from downtown and 70.8% from the line.
Ashland and Tiffin will turn around and play again at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium at 3 p.m. Feb. 5.
SATURDAY, JAN. 29
WEDNESDAY, JAN. 26
Ashland 62, Lake Erie 59
Following a 62-59 road win on Wednesday night against Lake Erie, Ashland University's men's basketball team has pulled into a flat-footed tie for first place in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Thanks to their fourth win in a row and seventh win in the last nine games, the Eagles are 12-6 overall and 9-3 in the Great Midwest. Ashland joins Malone and Walsh (each 8-2) as being a league-best six games above .500.
The Storm are 8-9, 2-8.
Junior guard Ethan Conley's 3-pointer put Ashland on top 10-9, but a corner 3-pointer for the Storm put Lake Erie back ahead at 12-10. With the game tied at 14, senior forward Aaron Thompson's 3-pointer put the Eagles back ahead at 17-14.
There was little room between Ashland and Lake Erie for the majority of the first half, but the Eagles ran out to a 26-17 lead inside of the six-minute mark, with a 3 from senior forward Derek Koch forcing a Storm timeout.
By halftime, Koch had scored a season-high-tying 16 points, helping Ashland to a 36-27 lead. The Eagles made 53.8% from the field and 50.0% from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes, and their trademark defense kept the Storm to 32.3% from the field and 17.6% from downtown.
Lake Erie worked its deficit down to 42-37, then to 46-42, then to 48-44. Inside of the nine-minute mark, it was a 50-46 AU lead, and with 8:31 to play, the Eagles were in the bonus.
Thompson's layup with 2:42 to go made it a 58-52 game, but four straight Storm points made the lead just two points.
A missed layup by Lake Erie gave the Eagles the ball back in the final minute, then junior guard Brandon Haraway made two free throws with 29.9 seconds to go to make it 60-56. The Storm made 1 of 2 free throws, then missed a shot from the field, allowing AU to potentially clinch the game at the line.
With 15.9 seconds left, senior guard Bo Furcron made 1 of 2 to make it a four-point game again at 61-57. Another Storm missed layup and Thompson making 1 of 2 at the line effectively ended the game.
Koch ended with a season-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc, and he added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Thompson finished with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting and posted four steals.
The Eagles' season-long strong defensive showing continued against Lake Erie, which shot 35.9% from the field and 23.3% from beyond the arc.
Ashland is 28-3 all-time against the Storm.
Ashland will return to the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium at 1 p.m. Jan. 29 against Villa Maria.
MONDAY, JAN. 24
SATURDAY, JAN. 22
THURSDAY, JAN. 20
Ashland 65, Ohio Dominican 51
The defense was strong, there was just enough offense, and the dunks were coming fast and furious for Ashland University's men's basketball team on Thursday night at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium.
Thanks to a 65-51 victory over Ohio Dominican, the Eagles have swept the season series against the Panthers and have moved to 9-6 overall and 6-3 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. ODU is 4-12, 2-7.
Ashland has kept opponents to less than 60 points in seven of 15 games so far in 2021-22.
"I'm always a believer that you have to rely on your defense, especially down the stretch," said Ashland coach John Ellenwood. "In tight games, you have to rely on guys getting stops."
Ashland continues to be one game behind Malone and Walsh in the loss column atop the Great Midwest standings. The Eagles are one of six teams in the league to have either two or three conference defeats.
The two teams stayed close early, as there were two lead changes and two ties in the first 6½ minutes. Ashland led 7-6, but the Panthers went on a 7-1 spurt to take a 13-7 lead.
Ohio Dominican extended the lead to 17-9, then to 20-10 – which is when the Panthers called a timeout. That stoppage ended up benefitting the Eagles, as a 13-0 run put AU ahead 23-20.
Ashland kept putting the pressure on, and a 10-0 run to end the first half made the lead 33-22. The Panthers had as many first-half turnovers as field-goal attempts (15), and senior guard Bo Furcron and sophomore Tre Baumgardner each had 11 points.
A thunderous dunk from junior forward Ethan Conley put the Eagles ahead 41-29, then another from sophomore guard Hunter Shedenhelm made it a 43-31 game. Ashland's largest lead was 19 points at 57-38, and the Eagles went to victory from there.
Furcron led the Eagles with 17 points, was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line and added six rebounds, three assists and three steals. He started the dunk parade, which saw four AU players flush the basketball in the victory.
"We're trying to find different ways to score," Furcron said. "That's what I've done my whole life. I try my best to make every shot that I get. When you're looking for different ways to score…dunks definitely motivate everybody. Any way that we can get an advantage, we try to do that."
Said Ellenwood, "He's having a great stretch of games here. We're going to need him. And the thing I like is the assists to turnovers (three to zero on Thursday)."
Of the dunks, Ellenwood said, "They're exciting to get the crowd into it. To me, they are high-percentage shots, and that's the ultimate breakdown of a defense if you can get a dunk."
Junior guard Brandon Haraway and Baumgardner each ended with 11 points.
Ashland forced 22 turnovers, turning them into 30 points.
"We're not a team that really gets a lot of turnovers," said Ellenwood. "We had more possessions with shots than they did, and that's important."
The Eagles are 33-3 all-time against the Panthers.
Ashland will play another Great Midwest home game at 3 p.m. Saturday versus Cedarville (10-6, 6-3).
SATURDAY, JAN. 15
THURSDAY, JAN. 13
Ashland 53, Hillsdale 52
Ashland University's men's basketball team's penchant for last-minute heroics was key once again on Thursday night in Michigan.
The Eagles remained in a four-way tie in the loss column atop the Great Midwest Athletic Conference standings following a 53-52 win at Hillsdale on Thursday. Ashland is 8-5 overall and 5-2 in the Great Midwest, and the Chargers are 10-4, 5-3.
Ashland, winner of three of its last four games, is tied with Walsh and Cedarville, a half-game behind first-place Malone.
The score was stuck at 5-4 in favor of Hillsdale for a while, then junior guard Brandon Haraway put Ashland ahead 6-5 on a jumper. Halfway through the first half, the two teams were tied at 8, and going into the locker room, the Chargers clung to an 18-17 lead.
In those first 20 minutes, both teams struggled from the field (AU 26.9%, HC 27.3%), and they combined for 17 turnovers (Hillsdale 10, Ashland seven).
A quick 3-pointer from sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner put Ashland on top, 20-18, then senior guard Bo Furcron's three-point play put the Eagles ahead again, 23-21.
The Eagles kept hitting 3-pointers, and the Chargers kept answering. Ashland led 36-32 halfway through the second half, then began to pull away thanks to back-to-back 3-pointers from senior forward Derek Koch and Furcron, which made the advantage 10 points at 44-34.
Hillsdale responded with six points in a row, but senior forward Aaron Thompson stopped that streak with a layup. The Chargers cut their deficit to 51-49 with a 3-pointer outside of the two-minute mark, then Furcron's layup lifted AU to a four-point lead.
Leading by a single point at 53-52 after another HC 3, Thompson made a key last-minute steal for the second game in a row. Needing another defensive stop for the win, Ashland got it when Hillsdale missed two layups in the waning seconds.
For the second consecutive game, Furcron led the Eagles in scoring, this time with 13 points to go with a team-high seven rebounds.
Ashland had an offensive turnaround in the second half, making 50% from the floor and 54.5% from beyond the arc.
The Eagles kept the Chargers to 37.5% from the field in the victory and forced 17 turnovers, resulting in 13 AU points.
Ashland will return to the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium for a game with Findlay (9-5, 3-3) at 3 p.m. Jan. 15.
Saturday, Jan. 8
Ashland 74, Kentucky Wesleyan 63
It didn't take long for Ashland University's men's basketball team to turn what would have been a disappointing loss into perhaps the most memorable win of the 2021-22 season to date.
On Saturday afternoon at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium, the Eagles scored the last four points of regulation in the last thirty seconds of regulation, then outscored Kentucky Wesleyan 13-2 in overtime for a 74-63 Great Midwest Athletic Conference home decision.
"Our defense is what we hang our hat on, and we did a great job defensively for the most part in that game," said Ashland coach John Ellenwood. "They're a good team. Honestly, they probably deserved to win that game. We were not finishing well today."
Ashland is 7-5 overall and 4-2 in the Great Midwest, and now is in a five-way logjam of teams all within a game of first place atop the league standings. The Panthers are 9-7, 4-5.
The Eagles are 4-0 at home this season, and have won six straight at The Kates going back to the end of the 2020-21 campaign.
A 3-point field goal from junior guard Ethan Conley tied the game early at 9, but the Panthers led 16-11 with 11:46 left in the opening half. Ashland had the answer in the form of a 7-0 run, the last six of those points coming on back-to-back triples from senior forward Derek Koch.
With the score tied at 18, the Eagles went on to nine in a row – all on treys – to go up 27-18. Ashland took a double-digit lead for the first time at 32-22, then again at 38-27 on a triple from senior guard Bo Furcron.
At the half, the Eagles took that 11-point lead to the locker room, thanks in large part to 9-of-19 shooting from beyond the arc, and nine assists on 13 made field goals.
Kentucky Wesleyan chipped away at its second-half deficit, working the score to 48-43 before junior forward Evan Bainbridge's triple stopped the momentum. The Panthers got the game back to four points at 53-49 with 8:43 remaining, forcing an Eagle timeout.
At the 6:48 mark, a Panther trey cut the AU lead to a single point at 55-54. No one would score again until the 3:34 mark, when a KWC layup put the Panthers ahead, 56-55, but senior forward Aaron Thompson's off-balance layup as the shot clock hit zero gave Ashland the lead again at 57-56.
Kentucky Wesleyan kept the back-and-forth going with a triple, then went up by four points at 61-57 on a layup. A Panther turnover, forced by Thompson, became a Furcron layup with 23.1 ticks to go, but the Eagles needed one more stop.
And a stop the Eagles got on a travel with 18.2 seconds left in regulation. Thompson's contested layup with 12 seconds left tied the game and sent it to overtime.
In the extra period, Ashland scored the first four points, then Furcron's triple just outside of a minute left put AU on top, 68-63. Junior guard Brandon Haraway iced the victory with two free throws for a 70-63 advantage.
"Once we got into overtime, our guys got the juice that they needed," said Ellenwood. "I'm very proud of our guys to get there. That's not easy to do. Our guys were very focused in that last 30 seconds.
Furcron scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor, Koch added 15 points, and Thompson finished with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocks and five steals.
"I feel really good," Furcron said. "God is good, great. I'm just getting more comfortable. There's a certain standard here at Ashland. Everybody can't fit it. I've got great teammates. It's coming together, and I love it."
Said Thompson, "We're playing with 15 other guys who never think we're down and out. I'm just super-proud of the guys, super-proud of the team to pull it out."
"These second-semester seniors are the best things you can have on a team," Ellenwood said. "I love coaching these guys, too. We know we're on limited time. This is a special team, and we want to make it a special year."
Ashland will go back on the road on Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m. to take on No. 20 Hillsdale (10-3, 5-2).
Friday, Dec. 31
Walsh 67, Ashland 63
NORTH CANTON — Finishing the calendar year with a game to remain tied for first place in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference standings, Ashland University's men's basketball team lost a 67-63 decision at Walsh on Friday afternoon.
The Eagles are 6-5 overall and 3-2 in the league, while the Cavaliers are 8-3, 4-1.
"We have tough kids; we recruit tough kids. That's what our program is all about," said Ashland assistant coach Brook Turson. "Didn't think we played our best today, and that's the tough part about the game. I think if we played our best, we get the outcome we want."
Ashland scored the game's first six points, then Walsh followed up with nine in a row to force an Eagles timeout. The Cavaliers run eventually ended at 18-0, and the advantage went to 25-10.
After that, senior forward Aaron Thompson decided to take matters into his own hands. Thompson scored 11 points in playing every minute in the first half, as the Eagles went on a 21-9 run to end it and go into the locker room down just three points at 34-31.
Walsh came out and scored the first four points of the second half, and the Cavaliers kept the Eagles at a short distance until senior forward Derek Koch's long-distance 3-point field goal cut the AU deficit to one point at 44-43.
With 11:07 to play, junior guard Ethan Conley's 3-pointer put the Eagles back on top at 46-44, but Walsh countered with six consecutive points. Trailing 56-51 with six minutes to go, Thompson (layup) and sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner (3-pointer) combined to knot the score at 56.
At the 4:21 mark, another 3-pointer by Conley lifted Ashland to a 59-56 lead, then Walsh took a 60-59 lead with 1:45 to play, then 62-59 with 63 ticks remaining.
A layup by Thompson with 41 seconds left cut the deficit to a single point at 62-61, but a three-point play with 17.3 seconds left put Walsh ahead 65-61.
Sophomore guard Hunter Shedenhelm was fouled shooting a 3 with 6.9 seconds left, and he made 2 of 3 to make it a 65-63 game. The Cavaliers made two free throws to provide the final margin of victory.
Thompson stuffed the stat sheet with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals, while senior guard Bo Furcron joined Thompson in double-digit scoring with 11 points.
"Aaron's a warrior. He's going to give you everything he's got," Turson said. "He's really, really good. I love that kid."
Ashland connected on 47.1% from the field and 37.9% from beyond the arc, while Walsh hit 47.2% from the floor.
Ashland will start the new year with a home game at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6 at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium versus Trevecca Nazarene.
Wednesday, Dec. 29
Ashland 61, Malone 58
Ashland University's men's basketball team won a white-knuckler Wednesday night at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium, outlasting Malone 61-58 to move into a five-way first-place tie in the loss column in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
The Eagles are 6-4 overall and 3-1 in the Great Midwest. The Pioneers are 9-3, 4-1 after their nine-game winning streak was snapped.
"Basketball's a game of adversity," said Ashland assistant coach Brook Turson. "We knew Malone wasn't going away. They are really, really good, really talented offensively. We expected a fight out of them.
"We talked about 40 minutes of toughness, but we really talked about the last eight minutes, making winning plays, and that's what we did."
Malone jumped out to leads of 5-0, 7-2 and 10-5, but Ashland rallied to knot the game at 12 on a deep jumper from sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner. Senior forward Derek Koch's layup gave AU a 15-14 lead, and a back-and-forth remainder of the first half went to the Eagles, 31-28.
Ashland's defense clamped down on Malone to the tune of 32.4% shooting from the field and 28.6% from 3-point range. Sophomore guard Hunter Shedenhelm led all scorers in the first 20 minutes with 11 points, including a 3-for-4 showing from downtown.
The Eagles' largest lead to that point became 39-32 at the 17:11 mark of the second half, but it was a 43-39 game in favor of AU with 11:55 left in regulation.
Ashland held on to a 50-49 lead with 4:22 to go, then the Pioneers tied the game at 54 on a 3-pointer. Koch stepped up to the line with 1:19 left and hit two free throws to put AU back on top, 56-54.
Malone re-tied the score at 56 on a layup, then senior forward Aaron Thompson's late shot clock 3 — his first triple of 2021-22 — gave Ashland a 59-56 lead.
"That's AT. He's a winner. He's an absolute winner," Turson said. "He's so fun to coach because you know he's going to give you 110% every time. There's really nobody else in that situation that I would have put in their hands. That's not the play we drew up, but thankfully, it went down the bottom of the net."
Said Thompson, "This is a great feeling. We're going to experience adversity. We've just got to come together in situations like that. We all came together and got it done, which is what we have to do for the rest of the season."
The Pioneers' two free throws with 20.2 seconds left made it a 59-58 score, then Baumgardner, with 16.1 ticks to go, returned the favor for the final margin of victory.
Baumgardner and Shedenhelm each had 13 points to pace the Eagles, senior guard Bo Furcron added a dozen points, Thompson had 11, and Koch collected nine points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Of Baumgardner, Turson said, "He was great. We were going to ask him to play 40 minutes. He did a great job. Tre brings a toughness to us that we need."
Said Baumgardner, "It feels great. All glory to God. We all stepped up. We all played a big part. I've been through a lot, injuries. Just being patient with the whole thing."
Turson said of Shedenhelm, "He's a weapon, and he's always got the green light with us. It was good to see Hunter play well, because that's the Hunter we know."
Malone made just 32.3% from the field and 26.9% from downtown.
"Defensively, we held them to 32%. That's unbelievable," said Turson.
The Eagles will round out the 2021 calendar year at 3 p.m. Friday at Walsh (7-3, 3-1).
Saturday, Dec. 18
Cincinnati 71, Ashland 57
If there is one thing that can always be said about an Ashland University men's basketball team, it's that it doesn't quit.
On Saturday afternoon at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati, the NCAA Division I Bearcats had a 25-point second-half lead at 58-33, only to see the Eagles cut that deficit down to 10 points with a 24-9 run late before losing a 71-57 decision.
Ashland is 5-4 and Cincinnati is 9-3 following the first-ever meeting between the two programs. The Bearcats had an opening in their schedule due to COVID-19 protocols at Texas Southern.
"They stretched the lead on us that was pretty wide, and it's tough to keep up with the number of bodies they were throwing at us," said Ashland head coach John Ellenwood. "We got it down to 10 late. It was fun just to keep it a ballgame in front of a great crowd.
"Our guys got better from this game. We'll learn from this and get better moving forward."
The Eagles scored the first points of the game on a 3-point field goal from senior forward Derek Koch, then they regained the lead at 8-7 on another triple from sophomore guard Hunter Shedenhelm, and at 10-9 on a Koch jumper.
Consecutive layups from senior forward Aaron Thompson tied the game at 16 with 7:48 to go in the first half, but the Bearcats went on an 11-0 run to go up 27-16. By halftime, Ashland trailed by a 34-21 count, keeping Cincinnati to 41.4 percent from the field and forcing six turnovers.
In the second half, the Bearcats slowly pulled away from the Eagles, but Ashland counter-punched to get it down to a 10-point deficit in the final minute.
Thompson led the way for Ashland on Saturday with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks and four steals.
"AT gives you everything he has. He's just a warrior," Ellenwood said. "In games like this, there are guys you are excited to have on the roster, and AT is one of them."
Koch added 13 points, a career-high seven assists and six rebounds.
The Eagles kept the Bearcats to 44.8-percent shooting from the field and 34.5 percent from beyond the arc.
"They made some good threes, and they had two guys that got hot," said Ellenwood. "We had a couple shot-clock violations. When our defense was clicking, it was tough for them to score. We didn't let their athleticism beat us.
"Our guys fought until the end. Our defense is something we can always hang our hat on."
Ashland's men's scheduled game on Monday at home vs. Wilberforce has been canceled. The Eagles' next game will be on Dec. 29 at 7:30 p.m. vs. Great Midwest Athletic Conference rival Malone at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium.
"It's a tough time," Ellenwood lamented. "We've got two days of practice, and we have a seven-day break that Division II mandates. It's tough, because we're starting to get into a rhythm. I'm glad we have two days here before break to stay in shape."
Saturday, Dec. 11
Saturday, Dec. 4
Cedarville 74, Ashland 71
On Saturday at Cedarville, Ashland University's men's basketball team lost 74-71 in a game in which the last 10 minutes saw the margin not go higher than five points.
The Eagles are 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference, and the Yellow Jackets are 4-3, 2-0.
A milestone of note in the defeat was the record set by fifth-year senior forward Aaron Thompson, who played in his program-record 120th career game. Thompson has started every game as an Eagle, and has the program mark in games started, as well. He had 12 points, nine rebounds and two steals on Saturday.
Early Eagle advantages of 7-2 and 10-4 were overcome by the Yellow Jackets, as Cedarville went ahead 21-15 inside of the nine-minute mark of the first half. Trailing 30-22 late in the first half, Ashland rallied and went into the break down three points at 32-29.
The Yellow Jackets' biggest lead was 38-29 just 90 seconds into the second half, then Ashland began to rally. The Eagles were down 40-37, then 49-47 at the midway point of the half.
A triple from junior guard Brandon Haraway put AU back in the lead at 52-51, which started a back-and-forth remainder of the contest. The game was tied at 65 with three minutes to play before Cedarville took the lead for good.
Haraway ended with a team-high 21 points to go with six rebounds and three steals. Junior guard Ethan Conley recorded 14 points off the bench.
Ashland made 49.0 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from 3-point range and 77.8 percent from the free-throw line, but Cedarville hit 52.0 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from downtown and 75.0 percent from the charity stripe.
Ashland will play its first Great Midwest game at the Sherrill Hudson Court at Kates Gymnasium on Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. vs. Lake Erie.
Thursday, Dec. 2
Ashland 77, Ohio Dominican 54
COLUMBUS — Playing in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference for the first time on Thursday night, Ashland University's men's basketball team pulled away at the end of the first half and didn't look back, topping Ohio Dominican, 77-54.
The Eagles are 4-2 overall and 1-0 in the Great Midwest, while the Panthers are 1-6, 0-1.
"I was proud of our effort," said Ashland coach John Ellenwood. "We're getting used to our lineups and getting used to how we need to play, and the intensity in which we have to play.
"Overall, it was a good game."
Ashland has won 12 of its last 13 meetings with ODU.
The Eagles ran out to a 9-0 lead, but the Panthers countered with eight in a row of their own. The back-and-forth continued, and with 9:23 to go until halftime, the score was knotted at 20-20.
At that point, Ashland fashioned another run, this one 10-0 over a six-minute period. Then, a 16-2 run to end the half helped the Eagles to move out to a 46-24 halftime advantage, as junior guard Ethan Conley led the charge with 18 points, all on a career-high six 3-pointers, in just nine minutes.
In the first 20 minutes, Ashland shot 60.0 percent from the field and 8-of-18 from behind the arc, while the Panthers made just 33.3 percent from the floor. AU also had a decided 24-7 rebounding advantage.
The Eagles kept the Panthers at more than arm's length throughout the second half, with their biggest lead being 31 points at 71-40.
Conley ended with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-10 from the field and 6-of-8 from downtown.
"It felt really good. It's a team effort. I'm just doing my job," Conley said. "I like coming off the bench, just to see how I can impact the game."
"He was great, and I'm very proud of him," Ellenwood said.
Junior guard Brandon Haraway chipped in with 10 points, while senior forward Aaron Thompson, in his program-record-tying 119th game, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds to go past 900 for his Eagle career.
"What can you say that hasn't been said about Aaron Thompson? He's a warrior," Ellenwood said.
Said Thompson, "It's super special. Coming in here, you don't think about the accolades and the records that you might be able to set. You just think about coming in and playing basketball. God's blessed with me so many years to play basketball."
Defensively, AU kept ODU to 32.7 percent from the field. On the other end of the floor, the Eagles shot 48.3 percent from the floor, made 11 from downtown and were 10-of-14 from the free-throw line.
Ashland will go back on the road for another Great Midwest contest on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at Cedarville (3-3, 1-0).
Saturday, Nov. 27
Ashland 65, Eckerd 57
On Saturday night in St. Petersburg, Fla., the No. RV Ashland University men's basketball team shook off a modest two-game losing streak and moved back above the .500 mark after a 65-57 win over Eckerd at its Thanksgiving Classic.
The Eagles are 3-2 heading into conference play, while the Tritons are 1-4. Ashland men's basketball has won 1,250 games since starting life in 1920-21.
The Eagles got off to a fast start, jumping ahead 16-4 in large part thanks to four 3-point field goals from sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner (two) and junior Evan Bainbridge (one), each making their first AU start, and junior guard Ethan Conley (one).
Eckerd came back and kept Ashland off the scoreboard for almost eight minutes, and the Tritons took a 17-16 lead thanks to a 13-0 stretch. The Eagles then went on a 13-4 run, and they ultimately went into the locker room with a 31-25 advantage, as Baumgardner had a game-high 12 points through the first 20 minutes.
Ashland continued to keep Eckerd at arm's length, and maintained a six-point lead at 48-42 inside of halfway through the second half. The Tritons kept chipping away, getting to within two points at 52-50 inside of five minutes left in regulation.
The Eagles, however, wouldn't allow Eckerd to get any closer, and free throws were a major factor – Ashland made 12-of-14 in the second half, and 18-of-22 for the game.
Baumgardner and Conley each led the Eagle offense with 14 points, Bainbridge was right behind with 13, and senior forward Aaron Thompson added 10 in his 118th career game – one shy of the program record of 119 set by Phil Frentsos.
Thompson added six rebounds and six assists in the victory.
Defensively, the Eagles kept Eckerd to 40 percent from the field and 2-of-17 from 3-point range.
Ashland's men will play their first Great Midwest Athletic Conference game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Ohio Dominican (0-5).
Friday, Nov. 26
Tampa 77, Ashland 60
On Friday in St. Petersburg, Fla., the No. RV Ashland University men's basketball team lost to Tampa, 77-60, on Day 1 of the Eckerd College Thanksgiving Classic.
The Eagles are 2-2, and the Spartans are 2-2.
Tampa quickly jumped out to a 13-2 lead, but the Eagles were able to chip away at their deficit, eventually tying the game at 15 with a 13-2 run of their own.
Ashland led for the first time at 19-17 inside of the six-minute mark of the first half, but the Spartans ends the first half on another run, this one 14-3, to take a 31-22 lead into the break.
Tampa extended its advantage to 47-26 to start the second half, leading to an Eagle timeout with 14 minutes to play. The Spartans' largest lead was 26 points at 65-39, and AU was able to trim that deficit down to 13 at 67-54 before Tampa began to pull away once again.
Junior guard Brandon Haraway paced the Ashland effort with 16 points and six rebounds, while senior forward Aaron Thompson moved into 17th place on the Eagles' all-time scoring list after scoring 15 points. Thompson now has 1,208 career points in 117 career games, tied for second-most in AU men's basketball annals.
Tampa guard Max Jones led all scorers with 24 points, and all of those came in the second half.
Saturday, Nov. 20
Ferris State 85, Ashland 73 (OT)
Ashland University's men's basketball team led by 14 points in the second half on Saturday at Ferris State, but the Bulldogs rallied to top the Eagles in overtime, 85-73.
The No. RV Eagles are 2-1, while the Bulldogs are 4-0.
Ashland sported a 61-47 lead inside of the 11-minute mark of the second half. Ferris State then scored the next 15 points to take the lead, 62-61.
The Eagles turned the tables on the Bulldogs, however, to force overtime. FSU led 70-65, then junior guard Brandon Haraway scored six of his team-high 20 points down the stretch.
Ferris State, however, outscored AU 14-2 in the overtime period.
Haraway was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line, and added a career-high seven assists, five rebounds and two steals.
Four Eagles scored in double figures – Haraway, junior guard Ethan Conley (14 points), junior forward Evan Bainbridge (career-high 13 points), and senior forward Aaron Thompson (11 points).
Conley also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds.
Ashland had 15 assists on 27 made baskets, and made 12-of-13 attempts from the free-throw line.
Monday, Nov. 15
Ashland 80, Gannon 76
Gannon turned a 10-point deficit into a one-point deficit in less than a minute late on Monday night in Erie, Pa., but Ashland University's men's basketball team held on, never gave up the lead, and took an 80-76 decision at the Hammermill Center.
The No. RV Eagles are 2-0 on the young 2021-22 season, while the Golden Knights lost in their season opener.
Ashland led 75-65 with 1:18 to go, but Gannon worked the score to 77-76 with 28 ticks remaining. The Golden Knights, however, didn't score another point, and the Eagles had their second single-digit win in as many outings to begin the season.
Playing in just his second game as an Eagle, sophomore guard Tre Baumgardner scored a game- and career-high 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He played 25 minutes off the bench.
Baumgardner led four Eagles in double-digit scoring, which included senior forward Aaron Thompson (18 points), senior guard Bo Furcron (16) and junior guard Brandon Haraway (11).
Thompson added five assists and four steals, and Haraway dished out a career-high-tying six helpers, as the Eagles had 19 assists on 28 made field goals.
Ashland forced 16 Gannon turnovers, and turned those into 25 points.
The Eagles narrowly missed yielding a triple-double, as Gannon's Braden Olsen posted 12 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Friday, Nov. 12
This article originally appeared on Ashland Times Gazette: Ashland University men's basketball game results