UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University men's basketball team defeated Ashland University today (Dec. 8) by a final score of 66-61. SVSU improves to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC, while the Eagles fall to 2-4 on the season and 1-3 in the conference.
Senior Jay Thames (Port Huron, Mich. / Northern HS) got the Cardinals off to a quick 4-0 start with two early buckets in the first minute of action.
The Cardinals relinquished the lead to the Eagles over the next ten minutes before Chris Webb (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) knotted up the contest at 12-12 with 8:50 to go in the half.
With less than three minutes remaining, Mike Schaaf (Saginaw, Mich. / Arthur Hill HS) gave Saginaw Valley the lead at 22-20 with a mid-range jumper from the right side. SVSU took a 24-22 advantage into the halftime intermission.
The Cardinals came out energetic in the second half as they pushed their lead to 31-22 after a strong move by Rob Clark (Saginaw, Mich.) in the paint for two at the 18:04 minute mark.
Ashland slowly chipped away at the SVSU advantage before Kellen Smith (Covington, Ky. / Scott HS) converted a traditional three-point play, while Webb knocked down a triple on the next possession to push the lead to 41-34 with 10:05 to play.
The Eagles proceeded to go on a 7-0 run to take the edge once again at 47-46 with 4:48 to go in regulation.
After struggling from the arc for most of the contest, Brett Beland (Menominee, Mich.) came through in a big spot as he connected from distance at the 2:18 mark to give SVSU the 54-49 lead.
Saginaw Valley used the free throw line down the stretch to pick up the 66-61 victory going 15-for-18 from the free throw line in the final five minutes of play.
Meijer 'Player of the Game' Chris Webb put together his third highest point total as he went for 26 points and seven rebounds, including 11-for-16 from the free throw line and 7-for-15 from the field.
Rob Clark recorded the second double-double of his SVSU career with 12 points and 10 rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. Clark was 5-for-11 shooting from the field.
Beland also dropped in nine points in the victory, while Schaaf added eight points of his own.
Saginaw Valley used their scrappiness on the boards to the tune of a 39-31 advantage over Ashland. The Cardinals made that edge count as they held an 11-3 edge in second chance points.
The Cardinals will continue conference play next Saturday (Dec. 15) when they travel to GLIAC newcomer Malone for a 1:00 PM start.