The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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January 9, 2014

College basketball: Ashford ends home skid

CLINTON — Sarah Vozel scored a double-double for the Ashford Saints in a 63-40 win over Trinity International on Wednesday in the first home game in nearly a month. It was also the first time the Saints won in Kehl Arena since Nov. 9 against Judson.

Since that time, Ashford (7-12) had lost straight four home games, but it opened the 2014 schedule with a win.

“They were excited to play at home,” Ashford coach Kelly Kruger said. “We got close to a couple other wins in there, so with the break in there, they were able to play more of a complete game at home.”

The Saints were originally scheduled to play a two-night series with Trinity International, but the Trojans had travel problems, and Tuesday’s postponement will be carried over to Monday night.

“They were ready last night to play,” Kruger said. “I think they would have played well last night, too, but we had a short workout yesterday, and I thought they made good use of what they had in front of them today.”

Ashford came out strong in the first half, starting on a 14-5 run, but cooled off. Despite cooling down from the fast start, defense was what Ashford relied on to get the first win of 2014.

Madison Wagner, who had nine points and two assists, was involved in eight of those points via a make or an assist.

In the last 6:43 of the first half, Ashford ended the half on a 10-3 run started by a Courtney Panus jumpshot assisted by Jessica Mlachnik.

The Saints outrebounded the Trojans 57-20, and only allowed Trinity International 11 rebounds in the first half.

Vozel, who had the lone double-double on Wednesday, scored 12 points and brought down 15 rebounds.

“I thought she was outstanding on the glass,” Kruger said, in his first year as Saints head coach. “I thought we allowed them to take the shots we wanted them to take, and when that happens (especially when the post is playing behind), you should have good control of the glass.”

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