WESTVILLE, Ind. – Coming off consecutive conference wins, the Pride were unable to keep the momentum going into Saturday as they were defeated by the Ashland Eagles 81-57. Dean Tate led the team with 14 points and three rebounds.
Ashland was unbeaten headed into this week before suffering their first loss of the season at Parkside Thursday night. The Eagles jumped ahead by as many as 16 in the first half as they brought a vengeful energy into the Dworkin Center. PNW shot just 31% (9-29) in the opening 20 minutes as the leading scorer at half for the Black and Gold was Chandler Spring with five points.
All but one Eagle scored multiple points in the second half as they continued to attack the Pride defense. Drew Noble ended up being the top scorer for AU as he amassed a game-high 20 points to go along with nine rebounds. Tate put up 11 of his 14 in the second half including connecting on all four of his attempts from the foul line.
Ashland thrived on forcing turnovers and making plays in transition throughout the afternoon. The Eagles forced 17 turnovers and accrued a total of 25 points off turnovers. Ashland also had 19 assists as they distributed the ball extremely well.
Tim Gilmore added eight points and six rebounds for Purdue Northwest, who ended up shooting a woeful 34.5% from the field and 27.3% (6-22) from three-point range. Durante Lee put up five points and four rebounds but went 2-2 from the field to continue his efficient season offensively.
Head Coach Boomer Roberts
“We were a little flat today for whatever reason, and we lacked the edge that our team needs to compete. Ashland is a very good team. They are well coached, difficult to score on, and they are good on the perimeter and in the post. We played with effort today, but we didn’t execute much of what we wanted to get done. This week was a great teaching tool for our guys. We’ve taken some major steps forward as a program, but we need to bring that edge every time we step on the court."
Up next, Purdue Northwest will hit the road to take on the defending D-II National Champion Ferris State Bulldogs Thursday, Jan. 17. Tipoff will be at 6:30 p.m. (CST) from Big Rapids, Michigan.