The Hillsdale College women's basketball team played No. 1 Ashland University dead even through the second half of their GLIAC matchup Saturday afternoon.
But the Eagles, to this point the best team in NCAA Division II, built a big first-half lead en route to their 24th consecutive victory.
Ashland remained perfect on the season with a 102-82 win over Hillsdale at the Dawn Tibbetts Potter Arena. The Chargers are now 12-11 overall and 6-10 in the GLIAC.
Few teams have come close to beating the Eagles this season, who play with impressive speed and cohesion. Ashland has highly skilled post players and a host of players who can knock down 3-pointers from any angle. The Eagles scored 29 points in each of the first two quarters of the game, building a 58-38 lead at halftime.
Despite the 20-point margin, Hillsdale played hard and competitively throughout the game. This was a fast-paced affair, with both teams piling up fast-break points on the other.
The 82 points scored by Hillsdale were the most allowed by Ashland in a GLIAC game, and the second-most the Eagles have yielded in any game this season. The teams played to a 44-44 draw in the second half, and the Chargers held a 26-22 scoring edge in the fourth quarter.
The Eagles shot 53 percent in the first half, and built their lead while holding the Chargers to 33 percent shooting in the second quarter, a stanza won by Ashland 29-17. Ashland was plus-9 on the boards (51-42) and went 20-for-24 from the free throw line.
Both teams had 79 field goal attempts in the game, a strong indicator of the high pace it was played at.
Five players scored in double figures for Hillsdale, led by Allie Dewire's 20 points. She did a good job of getting into the interior of the Eagle defense, and shot 8-for-14 from the floor.
Junior center Allie Dittmer had 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots. Senior Morgan Blair tossed in 11, and sophomore Brittany Gray came off the bench to score 10 points, along with four steals and three rebounds.
UP NEXT: Hillsdale heads to Ohio to take on Walsh University Thursday night.