Central Missouri halts Ashland women’s college basketball win streak in Division II championship game


By Dennis Manoloff - The Cleveland Plain Dealer



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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Paige Redmond scored 22 and Megan Skaggs was terrific down the stretch as the sixth-seeded Central Missouri Jennies shocked the top-seeded Ashland Eagles, 66-52, in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament championship game Friday night at Sanford Pentagon. Ashland’s winning streak ended at 73; its previous loss was March 12, 2016.

Ashland entered having averaged 99.8 points this season, with a +35.0 margin.

The Eagles (36-1) made their first seven shots from the field in building a 16-6 lead with 5:27 left in the first quarter. They did not commit a turnover in that span.

The Jennies (30-3) rallied to pull within 16-15, then missed a shot for the lead. At the end of the quarter, Ashland was ahead, 20-15, thanks in part to cashing seven Central Missouri turnovers into 11 points. Laina Snyder had six points.

With 6:33 remaining in the half, Central Missouri’s layup off a full-court inbounds pass cut the deficit to 22-21. Ashland, which had shot 2-of-16 since the perfect start, called timeout.

One minute later, Redmond’s layup gave Central Missouri a 23-22 advantage. Central Missouri led, 35-27, late in the half before Ashland scored four unanswered. The Jennies scored 32 points in the paint in the first half. The Eagles struggled late against the zone.

It marked just the second time this season that the Eagles trailed at the half.

Redmond, a guard wearing No. 00, excelled as Central Missouri built a 49-44 advantage through three quarters. Redmond notched her 18th, 19th and 20th points of the game on a late 3-pointer that turned out to be the final scoring of the third.

Skaggs’ shot in the paint increased Central Missouri’s lead to 55-48 with 3:22 left. Ashland answered with four points; Jodi Johnson’s short shot cut the deficit to 55-52 with 2:20 left.

Skaggs’ runner made it 57-52. She continued to impose her will the rest of the way. She finished with 13 points, nine of which came in the final 3:24.

Redmond was named the tournament MVP.

Junior Maddie Dackin, a Bath graduate, started for Ashland, finishing with six points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal.

Senior forward Laina Snyder scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, sophomore guard Renee Stimpert finished with 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds, and sophomore guard Jodi Johnson grabbed 12 rebounds also for the Eagles. Snyder and senior forward Andi Daugherty were named to the all-Elite Eight Tournament Team.

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By Dennis Manoloff

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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