Eagles advance to Final Four

Noah Cloonan

The Ashland University Women’s basketball used a 15-0 run after trailing to West Texas A&M 9-6 early in the first quarter to propel themselves into the Final Four.

Ashland continued their perfect season as they improved to 35-0 on the season.

WTAMU got off to a hot start as they scored the first basket of the day and subsequently extended that lead to 9-6 with 6:41 left to play in the first. The Eagles then found their rhythm offensively as they rattled off 15 straight points to grab a 21-9 lead with just under two minutes to play in the quarter.

In the second, AU kept the Buffaloes at arms length as the teams traded buckets until the Buffs were able to cut the lead to just five points with under a minute to play in the half.

The Eagles responded with back to back baskets to extend the lead to 41-32 at the half.

The Second half started much like the second quarter as they teams went back and forth to start the half. That was until Alie Decker caught fire from behind the arc for the Buffaloes.

Decker knocked down three straight triples to cut the gap to 49-47 with 6:08 to go in the third. But that’s as close as the Buffs would get as the Eagles closed out the third on a 15-6 run to improve their lead to 64-53 heading into the final quarter of play.

In the fourth, the Eagles never let the Buffs get within 10 points as they sealed the deal on their 35th win of the season.

Laina Snyder, who was named an All-American the night before, scored 26 points on 13-18 shooting and also grabbed eight boards in the win. Junior counterpart and All-American, Andi Daugherty scored 24 points, half of which came from the free throw line.

Renee Stimpert recorded a new career high as she added 11 points off the bench.

For West Texas, Lilley Vander Zee and Decker led the way with 18 points apiece. Their leading scorer on the season, Sasha Watson, battled foul trouble all night and only played 11 minutes for the Buffs. She was able to be productive in the limited minutes as she scored 11 points.

Ashland will await the winner of the Harding vs. Queens (N.Y.) game and will be in action again on Wednesday Night.