Men get third straight win

Chris Snow

Coming into the season Ashland University men’s basketball coach John Ellenwood said he expected balanced scoring from his team on most nights.

Ellenwood received just that on Tuesday night against California (Pa.).

Four Eagles scored in double figures to lead Ashland to an 80-67 non-conference win at Kate’s Gym.

Redshirt sophomore point guard Ben Haraway paced the Eagles with 17 points. Sophomore guard Nick Bapst chipped in 15 points off the bench, senior guard Boo Osborne tallied 14 points and junior forward Marsalis Hamilton added 10 points.

“We have to be as balanced as possible,” Ellenwood said. “And just continue to move the basketball around. That’s going to be the key. We did an okay job at times tonight moving the basketball, and we just have to continue to get better.”

“That’s definitely our strength,” Haraway added about the balanced scoring. “Any one of our guys can go off on any given night, so that’s very special. I’ve never been on a team where it’s been like that.”

Trailing 9-5 six minutes into the first half, AU (4-1) went on a 19-3 run over a six-minute span to build a 24-12 lead over California (Pa).

The Vulcans (2-4) responded with an eight-point run of their own, cutting the Eagle lead to 24-20 at the 6:47 mark.

The teams played the rest of the half close, and AU went into halftime leading 35-32.

Leading 40-37 a little over two minutes into the second half, Ashland went on a 20-4 run to distance itself from California (Pa.) and put the game out of reach.

“Adrian (Cook) played really well and got us going,” Ellenwood said. “We got some easy buckets and pushed the tempo. We did a great job coming out that second half.”

The closest the Vulcans got to the Eagles for the remainder of the game was 10 points.

Haraway added three rebounds, four assists, four steals and a block, while Osborne chipped in six rebounds, five assists, a block and a steal. Freshman center Drew Noble (6 points, 8 rebounds) and senior guard Adrian Cook (9 points, 7 rebounds) also contributed for AU.

The Eagles shot 46.6-percent from the field, out-rebounded the Vulcans 40-31 and turned California’s 14 turnovers into 17 points.

Although he is satisfied with the win, Ellenwood believes his team is a work in progress.

“We need to continue to get better and learn who we are. I think we are still trying to figure that out. There’s another gear to this team that we still have to find,” Ellenwood said.

Next up for Ashland is its Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener on Dec. 1 at Lake Superior State.