Ashland Finishes Perfect Season With National Title

  • 3/25/2017 2:12:00 AM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

COLUMBUS, OH- Ashland University put a bow on their perfect season Friday night in the Division II Women's College Basketball National Championship, knocking out 6th-seeded Virginia Union 93-77 at Ohio Dominican University.

The top-ranked Lady Eagles got a balanced scoring attack with five players scoring in double-figures, led by freshman guard Jodi Johnson who finished with 19 points on 5-6 shooting, including 4-5 from 3-point range. Junior All-American Laina Snyder added 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, and was named tournament MVP averaging nearly 23 pts and 8 rebs per game at the Elite Eight. Senior guard Kelsey Peare went 5-9 from the floor scoring 13 points in her final collegiate game while junior forward Andi Daugherty put up 13 and 6 boards, and sophomore Maddie Dackin chipped in with 14 making all eight of her free throw attempts.

The Lady Eagles outscored the Panthers in each quarter, leading 24-20 after the first, 47-42 at the half and 68-58 at the end of three. AU scored 22 points off 21 forced turnovers, outscoring Virginia Union 27-18 in bench points. The Panthers would dominate points in the paint 54-30 and second chance points 17-9, but Ashland won the rebounding battle 37-34.

At 37-0 Ashland University becomes the first team in school history to finish a season undefeated with a national championship. It also marks the second national title for the program since 2013 and their third trip to the championship game in the last six years.

Peare, point guard Alex Henning and guard Rachelle Morrison finish their Ashland careers as national champions while nine players will return for head coach Robyn Fralick next season, who has a sparkling 66-2 overall record in two seasons with the Lady Eagles.  

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