Lady Eagles March On To National Championship

  • 3/23/2017 12:48:56 AM
  • Brian Skowronski
  • Local Sports

COLUMBUS, OH- The dream season for Ashland University will continue on into the Division II Women's College Basketball National Championship, as the undefeated Lady Eagles advanced to the title game with a semifinal victory over Harding University Wednesday night.

As AU has done to so many opponents this season, they would build a significant lead early in their final four matchup with the Lady Buffs behind a fast-paced, aggressive style. The purple and gold would get Harding to play at their tempo for much of the first half, building a 27-23 edge after the opening frame that Ashland would increase to 55-37 by the break with an explosive 19-5 run to close out the second quarter.

The Lady Eagles would come flying out of the gates on a 9-2 spurt to open the third quarter, leading by as many as 28 points in the stanza as junior All-Americans Laina Snyder and Andi Daugherty led the offensive charge with 48 combined points. In the final quarter, however, the Lady Buffs applied full-court pressure that forced a number of AU turnovers and led to a 16-7 scoring edge for Harding. By that time the damage had already been done, though, as Ashland University advanced to the national championship with a 90-77 victory.

Snyder led the way for Ashland with 25 pts, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals while Daugherty added 23 pts and 4 rebs. Sophomore guard Maddie Dackin poured in 14 pts on 4-5 shooting behind the arc, freshman Jodi Johnson chipped in with 13 pts and 6 rebs and senior Kelsey Peare scored 11 and grabbed 5 boards.

#1 Ashland University (36-0) will move on to the national title game to take on #6 Virginia Union, who clipped #2 California Baptist 86-81 in their national semifinal. Tip-off is slated for 7 pm at Ohio Dominican University with tickets available at the door beginning at 6 pm. 

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