AU women’s basketball continues undefeated run

The Eagles sit No. 2 in the country and 2-0 in conference play


Eagle guard Sophia Niese helps lead underclassmen off the bench, providing a spark against Tiffin.

Ethan Jenkins, Reporter

The Ashland University Women’s Basketball team has lived up to expectations so far through 8 games this year. Going undefeated since the opening game of the year, on Nov. 11.

The Eagles played 6 non-conference games to start off the year and have now ridden the momentum into conference play with games against the Findlay Oilers and Tiffin Dragon last week.

The Eagles traveled to Findlay, Ohio in what proved to be a tougher test than the Eagles had anticipated. The number 2 team in the nation ended up only winning by 12 points against a 3-2 team.

Hallie Heidemann struggled in the game offensively but hit 2 three-pointers to move her into first place all-time on the AU 3-pointers made in a career list. Heidemann left with a huge accomplishment, but she was more proud of the defensive effort of the team in the 4th quarter, only allowing 9 points to the Oilers.

Our full-court pressure has definitely been speeding teams up and getting them to play out of control.  Within that, I work hard to pressure the ball, get deflections, and win every loose ball,” said Heidemann.

On Saturday, the team had a wire-to-wire win vs Tiffin never trailing in the game along with scoring 104 points. The Eagle team was on fire and got 11 players on the scoreboard keeping tons of energy on the court throughout all 40 minutes of play.

“You can win games in shorts stints and just bringing in new waves of fresh energy, and I hope our team continues to buy into that,” said Head Coach Kari Pickens.

The most dominant player of the 11 that scored, was certainly forward Hayley Smith, who put up 23 points along with 9 rebounds on 10 for 10 shooting from the field against the Dragons. The strong performance included many plays at the bucket and on the glass, which Smith wanted to improve on coming into the season. 

“Huge areas of emphasis for me this year would have to be rebounding and back-to-the-basket finishes,” said Smith.

Hayley Smith now has 6+ rebounds in every game this year, and in the last 7 games has shot 50% or better from the field.

The red-hot Eagles will next meet the team that ended its season last year, the Walsh Cavaliers. Kates Gymnasium is set to be packed for the conference battle on Dec. 8 with tipoff set for 5:30 p.m.