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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

Eagles open 2023-24 season with dominating 98-61 win over Warriors

The AU women’s basketball team is now on a 38 game winning streak since last season
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The Eagles sit on the bench during a timeout against the Wayne State Warriors after a convincing win.
Ben Nichols
The Eagles sit on the bench during a timeout against the Wayne State Warriors after a convincing win.

The Ashland University women’s basketball team left the 2022-23 season with Great Midwest Athletic Conference (GMAC), regional and national championships under the team’s belt. With a 37-0 undefeated record, the Eagles looked to kickstart the 2023-24 campaign with a similar storyline.

Unfortunately, for the Wayne State Warriors, they would fall victim to the dominance of the Eagles’ program in a 98-61 loss in the season opener.

To begin the first quarter of play, the Eagles started quickly, jumping out to a 27-14 lead through the opening 10 minutes of action. Those 27 points would be highlighted by a stellar nine points from forward Zoe Miller off the bench.

Since last season, she has remained a staple for Head Coach Kari Pickens as a substitutional spark.

Alongside Miller, counterpart Hayley Smith hauled in seven rebounds to help lead the Eagles’ charge inside the paint.

In the second set of 10 minutes, the Eagles continued to thrive. The Eagles knocked down seven shots from the field while connecting on three shots from the perimeter. However, the big separating factor came at the charity stripe as the Eagles added five free points onto the board.

Heading into the break, led by standout offensive production, the Eagles recorded a staggering 49 points while giving up just 31.

With an 18-point lead, the Eagles were set to coast through the second half of action.

Quickly out of the break, they took control of the third quarter as the starters entered back into the game to extend the lead. They helped propel the defensive efforts forward, holding the Warriors to just 12 points while recording a staggering adding on 30 of the team’s own.

In the third quarter alone, the Eagles shot 63% from the field and 75% from three-point range while committing just three turnovers. Leading the charge from beyond the arc was guard Savaya Brockington who left the third quarter with 13 points, 50% from the field and 100% from three point range going 3-for-3.

The offensive explosion would lead to a 79-43 differential heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

To open the fourth quarter, the Eagles opted to dive deeper into the team’s rotation and give the freshmen opportunities to shine in the season/home opener.

Freshman guard Gia Casalinova dominated, recording seven points, three rebounds and one assist in just six minutes of action. Along with Casalinova, Pickens gave time to freshmen Katelyn Harabedian, Kylie Leibacher, Carly Prows and sophomore Sophie Niese.

The four would help keep the Warriors from mounting any sort of comeback, with the final score resulting in a 98-61 advantage in the Eagles favor. The 37-point lead, was highlighted by a Miller’s 19 points, Brockington’s 13 and 11 points from Macy Spielman, Smith, Annie Roshak and Sarah McKee.

Smith would finish the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds, her first double-double of the season.

The victory moves the team to 1-0 on the season, pushing the current winning streak to 38 games straight.

The Eagles next look to take on the University of Indianapolis on Saturday, Nov. 11, with tip-off set for 5:30 P.M. in Kates Gymnasium on the campus of Ashland University.

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