ASHLAND, Ohio - The No.1-ranked Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team travelled to Ashland University on Thursday night in a contest featuring the GLIAC North and South division leaders. SVSU started the game on a 9-0 run and never trailed in the basketball game as the Cardinals beat the Eagles 75-68.
The Cardinals scored first off a Garrett Hall layup at the 19:19 mark of the first half. Following an Ashland turnover, Hall would score again, giving him 4 points early in the game. Saginaw Valley pushed its lead to nine into the media timeout after getting a three-pointer to fall from Caleb Davis.
SVSU exited the timeout and allowed seven straight Ashland points, making it a one possession game. The Cardinals responded with a three-pointer from Mike Wells and a putback slam from C.J. Turnage that made the score 20-13 with 7:42 left in the half.
Saginaw Valley began to pull away late in the first half following an Ashland dunk. The Cardinals took their first double-digit lead of the game when Jake Daniels hit an open three with 3:53 left in the first half. The Eagles chipped away at the SVSU lead after a Turnage layup made the score 31-19. Ashland made a pair of free throws and scored twice to end the first half.
SVSU played the final 2:56 of the half without a basket and went to the locker room up 31-25 over the GLIAC South division leader.
Saginaw Valley came out of the halftime break scoring on a jump shot from Turnage. Ashland scored on their next two drives, converting on a jumper and a free throw making the score 33-28. The Cardinals entered the media timeout with a 46-38 lead and scoring on its last four possessions.
Saginaw Valley continued to shoot well following the timeout, extended their lead to a game-high 16 point with a made layup from Hall with 11:22 left in regulation. Ashland's defense held strong from here, limited the Cardinals to just 10 points in seven minutes of game action. The Eagles got the deficit down to 66-58 with a three-pointer at 4:12 mark of the second half.
SVSU closed out the game with four points from Garrett Hall and three free throws from Caleb Davis to secure the 75-68 win over Ashland. The win gives the Cardinals a program-best nine game winning streak and a five straight wins over the Eagles in the season series.
Inside the Boxscore
- The Cardinals' 9-0 record is the best start of a season in program history. The team is ranked No.1 overall in D2 for the first time ever.
- Garrett Hall led all scorers in the game with 24 points, 7 rebounds and shot 6-7 from the free-throw line to earn Meijer "Player of the Game" honors. The 24 points matched a career-high.
- Davis recorded his first double-double of the season, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The senior forward also added three assists and blocked one shot. His 10 boards matched a career-best for him as well.
- Turnage shot 10-of-16 from the field, scoring 20 points, pulling in six rebounds and two blocked shots. He moved to ninth place all-time in scoring at SVSU, recording his 1,500th career point in the win over Ashland.
- SVSU edged the Eagles 42-35 in rebounding and 11-7 in second chance points.
- SVSU went 14-for-17 from the free-throw line. All 17 attempts from the stripe were shot in the second half of the game.
From Head Coach Randy Baruth
"This was a very good road win for the guys. We need to get better with some late game decisions, but that will come with time and we look forward to another great game on Saturday at Tiffin."
The No.1-ranked Saginaw Valley State men's basketball team completes its road trip in Ohio with a Saturday afternoon (Dec.10) matchup against Tiffin. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 pm.
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