Ashland staying focused during record-setting streak

The Eagles will try for their 55th straight win when they visit Saginaw Valley State on Thursday, Jan. 18.

The book on the Ashland Eagles' record-setting winning streak is still being written.

Ashland routed Purdue Northwest, 120-47, on Saturday night for its 54th victory in a row -- the longest winning streak in Division II women's basketball history.

"What's historical about it isn't one person who did something (54 times in a row)," said head coach Robyn Fralick. "It's a group of people that have decided to put the mission first and that's been fun to be apart of."

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Ashland's streak began at the start of last season, when the Eagles went on to capture their second national championship with a spotless 37-0 record. Ashland is a perfect 17-0 so far this season, meaning its last loss came in the NCAA tournament on March 12, 2016.

"It's fun to win and it's fun to play with these girls," said sophomore guard Jodi Johnson, who has yet to lose a game at Ashland. "We have a special bond, and I feel like that just makes the whole experience so much greater."

The Eagles' success is rooted in their fast-paced and tireless style of play. After setting the scoring record with 3,456 points last season, Ashland is averaging more than 100 points per game this season with an average margin of victory greater than 38 points.

"You can't take winning for granted," said senior foward Andi Daugherty. "Sometimes you would want a more competitive game, but I'm much more comfortable with a 30-point win rather than a buzzer-beater shot."

Fralick has been virtually perfect since taking over the head coaching duties at Ashland. She boasts a combined record of 85-2 across three seasons.

"I'm surrounded with great people," Fralick said. "I've got kids that love to play basketball, they love to work hard in the classroom (and) they're good to each other.

"Things are only as rewarding as the people you get to spend it with, so it's been rewarding because I love the people I get to (coach) with every day."

The Eagles set the Division II women's record for consecutive wins by beating Northern Michigan for their 52nd straight win on Jan. 6. With three more wins, Ashland would tie the Winona State men (57) for the high-water mark in all of Division II.

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But keeping the winning streak alive isn't Ashland's top priority.

"It's cool to be in the record book, but I want the national championship, and I want to win with these girls," said senior forward Laina Snyder, who is averaging a team-best 19.8 points per game.

The Eagles will try for their 55th straight win when they visit Saginaw Valley State on Thursday, Jan. 18.