Asbury Athletics at a glance

Published 1:30 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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Cross country competed in the national tournament this past week while both basketball teams kicked off their seasons.

Cross country

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Asbury cross country freshman Bailey Gassmann finished second place of 55 runners on Friday, Nov. 10, in the NCCAA National Championship race in Warsaw, In.

Gassmann led the AU women’s team to a third-place overall finish, while the Asbury men’s team took sixth. Senior captain Wes Preston led Asbury with a 21st place finish in 26:57.6 for 8K (5 miles). Dan Kersey (37th), Cameron Tapp (39th), Luke Wheatley (50th), and Josh Rittgers (57th) were the other scorers for the Eagles in their third straight appearance in the NCCAA National Championship.

The AU women’s team was incredible. Gassmann finished second overall to become an NCCAA All-American in her first season. She ran an electric 18:52.4 for 5K (3.1 miles), just 12 seconds behind the national champion Emily Staal from the College of the Ozarks.

The runner-up finish by Gassmann was the highest place ever by an Asbury runner in the NCCAA finals. Her final time was her best ever in a collegiate race and set the tone for her teammates to also ride to the championship race challenge.

Mens basketball

Clayton Winter led the Eagles (1-0) over Centre College (0-1) in the home opener Wednesday, Nov. 8, in the Luce Center, 72-63. Winter had 16 points on 7-15 shooting with nine rebounds to start Asbury’s season with a win. Dakota Walden and Ben McNew followed Winter with 14 points apiece, Walden grabbing seven boards and McNew four. McNew went four of five from distance to start his season with 80% three-point shooting.

Caleb Wallis had 12 points for AU with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

Asbury first-year guard Aden Slone dished three assists, scored 10 points, and grabbed two boards in his first performance for the Eagles.

A few days after a season-opening win over Centre, the Eagles scored 74 points in an exhibition matchup at Division-I Lipscomb University, falling 113-74 on Saturday, Nov. 11.

Four Eagles scored double-digit points in the impressive offensive day, Caleb Wallis leading the way with 17 points. Wallis also dished four assists, grabbed four rebounds, and grabbed two steals.

Ben McNew followed his four 3-pointer night on Wednesday with 5-11 shooting to score 15 points and grabbed three rebounds.

Dakota Walden scored 14 on Lipscomb’s home court, going 8-9 from the free-throw line.

Ashton Owens made four threes to lead AU out of their 11 made as a team. The Eagles went 10-12 from the line in the first half and then shot over 43% from the field in the second.

Clayton Winter, Tyler Hall, Cameron Jones, Bryce Snellen, and Scott Shepherd also scored points for AU. Winter tied Caleb Wallis for the most rebounds on the team at four.

Womens basketball

The Eagles (1-1) opened the 2023-24 season on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Winking Lizard Tip-Off Tournament in Unversity Heights, Oh. The Eagles fell to John Carroll University (1-0), 70-44 in the tournament’s first game.

AU was led in scoring by sophomore Morgan Flannery, who put up 10 points on 3-5 shooting and a perfect 3-3 night from the free-throw line. Flannery was also active on the defensive side adding three steals to her box score. The Eagles were led in rebounding by Camryn Preston, Spencer Harvey, and Morgan Flannery, who all totaled four boards on the night.

Haleigh Releford scored eight points with two three-pointers in her first game after a sophomore year of 367 points. Trinity Shearer added six points on the night and went 2-4 beyond the arc for the game after leading AU in 2022-23 with 398 points.

The Eagles bounced back from a loss last night with a win on Saturday, Nov. 11.. The women took the win over PSU-Behrend (0-2) 95-65, to secure their first win of the season.

AU was led in scoring by Releford, who put up a game-high 26 points on 12-21 shooting. Releford also added four rebounds and three steals to her total stat line. Trinity Shearer and Bre Jones each had impressive games themselves to help bolster the Eagles to a win. Shearer was able to pour in 19 points on an efficient 7-12 from the field and 3-6 from three. She also dished out seven assists and did not record a single turnover.

Jones added 11 points and five rebounds in the win.

Shearer and Morgan Flannery were at the head of the defensive success in the game for AU. Shearer recorded nine steals, with Flannery adding seven.