by Josh Burris
Cedarville defeated Davis & Elkins Thursday night 72-70 on a game-winning shot by J.C. Faubion.
Faubion made a midrange jump shot with 5.5 seconds left to break the tie with the Senators. Davis & Elkins got one more shot off before the final buzzer, but missed it.
Cedarville (11-11) lost their last four games to Davis & Elkins. The win extends their winning streak to six games and improved their conference record to 3-4.
Cedarville head coach Pat Estepp said he was proud of the way his team fought.
“I’m proud of the guys and proud of their effort,” Estepp said. “They didn’t quit and kept fighting.”
Estepp also had praise for Faubion.
“I’m happy for J.C.,” Estepp said. “He stepped up and made a play.”
Faubion lead the Jackets in points with 21. Patrick Bain put up 17 points and nine rebounds, six of them being offensive.
Bain got the Jackets started with a 3-pointer in the second minute of the game. Neither team broke away from the other early on. Justice Montgomery hit a jump shot to put the Jackets up 11-10 with 14:50 left in the half.
Davis & Elkins hit a pair of free throws and converted an alley-oop to take an 18-15 lead later on.
In the next several possessions, Robert Okoro had two dunks set up by passes from Montgomery and Bain to give Cedarville a 26-25 lead.
Gabe Portillo also had a stretch of production off the bench. Portillo stole the ball and took it down for a layup. He hit a 3-pointer for the next Jacket basket to give Cedarville a 31-29 lead with 3:42 left in the half.
Montgomery scored the last Jacket basket of the half with three seconds left. He drove in and made a reverse layup to put Cedarville up 38-33 at halftime.
Easton Bazzoli was Cedarville’s leading scorer in the first half with 11 points. Faubion was the next highest scorer with six. Bain added five points and four rebounds, all offensive.
Neither team broke away in the second half either. Davis & Elkins slowly chipped at Cedarville’s lead and held a 51-48 lead with 13:43 left.
Bain hit a 3-pointer to give the Jackets a 54-53 lead later on. Okoro also hit a turnaround jumper to make Cedarville’s lead 61-57.
Davis & Elkins went on an 8-0 run in the next minute and a half to take a 65-61 lead with 7:10 left to play.
Cedarville tied the game in the next several minutes. Faubion drove to the hoop and made a layup while getting fouled. After he made the free throw, Easton Bazzoli drove down on the next possession for a drive of his own to tie the game at 67 with 3:22 left.
The last few minutes were hard-fought by both sides. With 1:03 left, Bain hit a pair of free throws to put Cedarville up 70-69. On the other end of the floor, Davis & Elkins made one of two free throw attempts to tie the game at 70.
Cedarville took possession with 36.7 seconds left and killed the whole shot clock while they looked for a good shot. Estepp drew up a play, but it ended up falling through.
Montgomery ended up finding Faubion near the end of the shot clock. Faubion caught the pass and hit a jumper as the shot clock went off to put the Jackets up 72-70 with 5.5 seconds left. The Senators had time to answer, but missed their shot attempt.
Estepp said it takes more than a good play to win a game.
“Plays don’t win games,” Estepp said. “Players do and he (Faubion) did it tonight.”
The Jackets next game will be at home on Saturday against Alderson Broaddus at 4:15 p.m.
Josh Burris is a senior journalism major and the sports editor for Cedars. He is interested in sports broadcasting and reporting. He enjoys watching sports, lifting, and listening to rock and rap music.