The NCAA Division II women’s basketball season ends today with Ashland University in a familiar setting – the national championship game.
The top-ranked Eagles will meet No. 6 Minnesota Duluth for the title at 3:30 p.m. in Dallas. Ashland enters with a flawless 36-0 record. Minnesota-Duluth is 32-3.
This will be the Eagles’ fifth appearance in the tournament – all since 2012. They won the title in 2013 and 2017.
Ashland wins its third national championship
The perfect season is complete. Ashland wins its third national championship with a 78-67 win over Minnesota-Duluth.
Annie Rochak led Ashland with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Zoe Miller finished with 16 points. Haley Heidemann scored 11 points. Hayley Smith scored 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Eagles finished 37-0.
Ashland is looking forward to holding on
Minnesota-Duluth outscored Ashland 22-11 in the fourth quarter, but the Eagles still held a 70-62 lead with 1:06 remaining.
Heidemann, Yoder Answers the Minnesota-Duluth Run
Minnesota-Duluth was threatening to cut its deficit below 10% by the end of the third quarter.
Then Ashland’s Hallie Heidemann singled in a 3-pointer. Morgan Yoder followed with another to give the Eagles a 19-point lead.
Ashland holds a 59-40 lead in the fourth quarter.
Brooke Olson sets a championship scoring record
Minnesota-Duluth’s Brooke Olson scored the tournament’s 150th point in the third quarter. She broke the postseason record set by Johanna Leidham of Franklin Pierce in 2009.
Duluth managed to get within 13, but a Hallie Heidemann 3-pointer extended Ashland’s lead back to 49-33. This was Heidemann’s first basket.
Ashland is halfway to its third national title
What a second quarter for Ashland. The Eagles outscored Minnesota-Duluth 26-11 in the quarter and led 40-22 at halftime.
Annie Rochak leads Ashland with 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists. She is 4 of 5 from the field and 6 of 6 from the line.
Minnesota Duluth’s Brock Olson won by four points. The NCAA Division II Player of the Year caught her third fumble midway through the second quarter.
The Eagles are up 28-15 after a great race
Just like that, Ashland has the biggest lead thanks to a 10-0 run.
There’s more bad news for Minnesota-Duluth. Brock Olson, NCAA Division II MVP, is off the bench with three years to go.
Annie Rochak leads Ashland through the quarter
Ashland leads 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Annie Rochak scored eight points in the quarter for the Eagles. She hit all three of her field goal attempts.
Minnesota-Duluth grabs an early advantage
Minnesota-Duluth leads 7-5 in first-quarter media timeouts.
Ashland’s starting guard Savaya Brockington committed two quick errors and is likely to be out for the rest of the quarter.
Is the Ashland basketball game on TV?
The NCAA Division II Women’s Championship game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network, beginning at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 1.
Is Ashland basketball the site of the Women’s League Final Four?
The Eagles play in the National Championship on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, the same arena that hosts the NCAA Women’s Division I Final Four. Ashland and Minnesota-Duluth will play one day before Sunday’s Division I championship game.
Ashland women’s basketball:Stark County native Annie Rochak Hayley Smith has her sights set on leading Ashland to the title
Who are the expected basketball players in Ashland?
- Annie Rochak, female, 6-1, SR.
- Haley Heidemann, G, 5-8, gr.
- Hayley Smith, PH, 6-1, SFS.
- Maddie Maloney, G, 5-8, gr.
- Savaya Brockington, G, 5-4, jr.
Who are the expected Minnesota-Duluth basketball players?
- Brooke Olson, P, 6-2, gr.
- Meissen Theisen, G, 5–7, gr.
- Madelyn Granica, GF, 5-11, SR.
- Kylie Nelson, G, 5-8, SR.
- Tom Rhodes, G, 5-9, SR.
How did Ashland and Minnesota-Duluth get here?
Ashland beats Malone 72-65, Trevica Nazarene 73-49, Grand Valley State 61-58 in the Midwest Region, Ut Tyler 81-82 in the Elite Eight and Glenville State 76-67 in the Final Four.
Minnesota defeated Duluth Southern Nasional 66-50, Minnesota State 86-70 and Missouri Southern 77-76 in the Central District, Assumption 61-41 in the Elite Eight and Catawba 70-59 in the Final Four.
Who is the best player in Ashland?
Annie Rochak was named a first team All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and a second team All-American by the Division II Conference Commissioners Association.
A 6-foot-1 senior forward from Hoover High School, Roshak averages 14.4 points a game. She shoots 62.7% from the field (49.2% from 3-point range) and 91.9% from the line.
Roshak was voted the 2022-23 Great Midwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She ranks fifth on the Ashland career scoring list, with 1,841 points.
Ashland women’s basketball:Hoover alumnus Annie Rochak was named G-MAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Year
Who is the best player in Minnesota Duluth?
Brooke Olson was voted WBCA Division II Player of the Year.
A 6-1 forward, Olson averages a team-leading 23.1 points and 7.4 rebounds a game. She also leads the Bulldogs in blocks with 42.
Olson needs just five points against Ashland to break the NCAA Division II single-season game record of 149 points set by Johanna Leedham of Franklin Pierce in 2009. She scores 29.0 points and 10.3 rebounds while shooting 61.1% from the field and 95.6% field goal. Out of line in this year’s championship.
What sets Ashland coach, Carey Pickens apart?
Pickens has a chance to become the first person to win the NCAA Division II Women’s National Basketball Championship as a player, assistant coach, and head coach.
Pickens played on the Eagles’ 2013 championship team. She moved to Ashland from Dayton and scored 1,414 points in her two seasons with the Eagles.
As Robyn Fralick’s assistant in 2017, Pickens was named WBCA NCAA Division II Assistant Coach of the Year. She became head coach in 2018 after Fralick moved to Bowling Green.
Pickens ranged from 141 to 15 in five seasons in Ashland.
Ashland women’s basketball:‘She gets the best of everyone’: Carrie Pickens continues to win in Ashland
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