CLINTON — Just like Dorothy in the "Wizard of Oz," there is no place like home for the Ashford men's basketball team.
"We're just comfortable here," Anthony Woods said after the Saints completed a 7-for-7 home stand Tuesday night. "When people come here it's going to be tough for them."
Woods, a 6-foot-4 junior from Normal, Ill., had a lot to do with that Tuesday. He poured in 31 points in an 80-73 victory against Grand View for the 21st-ranked Saints, who improved to 22-7, 10-1 since the new year began. It was Woods' fourth game with 30 or more points this season, three of those in Kehl Arena where the Saints are 12-1.
"It was a pretty good feeling," Woods said. "Once I hit my first couple, I knew I was on. I put in a lot of work, and thanks to my teammates for screening and getting me open. This was for my team. I had to keep us in it."
Did he ever. As the rest of the Saints struggled early to get into an offensive flow, Woods prevented the Vikings from getting too far ahead. He scored 15 of Ashford's first 17 points, including his fifth 3-pointer that trimmed Grand View's lead to 22-17 with 8 minutes, 23 seconds remaining in the first half.
"I saw my team wasn't hitting, and I had to pick us up; I had to put them on my back," Woods said.
"I thought we were really stagnant offensively," Ashford coach Oliver Drake said. "Anthony was awesome, and thank God, we needed all 15 of his points, anybody in the gym saw that.
"It was disappointing for us to not come out with a little more aggressiveness against the zone. We knew it was coming. We've seen it a lot because we're a hard team to guard. The most important thing is our guys battled back. They turned up their intensity and sense of urgency, and we got a lot more dialed in."