Brown's 20-Point Effort Propels Cedarville to Victory
The Yellow Jackets (16-7), led by Zach Brown, had an explosive second half en route to a 71-55 victory over the Walsh University Cavaliers (20-5) on Saturday.
The last time these two teams met, Cedarville lost 73-72 after the Cavaliers prevented them from getting a shot off in the final seconds. For Saturday’s game, head coach Pat Estepp said that he knew it was going to be a tough game.
Walsh crept its way to an eight-point lead halfway through the first. But Cedarville fought back, capturing a 28-26 lead with about four minutes left in the half. The competition was close, but Cedarville was able to carry a 32-31 lead into the break.
The Jackets struggled early out of the break, going scoreless for the first 2:30 of play. Zach Brown then led Cedarville on a surge, scoring 10 points in the span of two minutes, which brought Jackets to a 48-40 lead. Cedarville’s lead reached as high as 17 points in the second half, and they 71-55, remaining perfect at home and extending their win streak to six.
Brown finished the game with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was 6-10 shooting, including four three-pointers. Estepp said that he has stepped up his play these past few weeks.
“He really, since Christmas break, has been playing really well, playing with a lot more confidence,” Estepp said of Brown. “I think he’s feeling like this is his team to run, and he is doing a great job at it.”
Estepp also said he was impressed with Brian Grant on Saturday. Grant finished with 14 points. Zimmy Nwogbo collected 13 points, including two crowd-igniting dunks for the large crowd for Li’l Sibs Weekend. Austin Foote also scored in double digits, racking up 11 points, and Marcus Reineke had a rare and exciting four-point play as part of his total seven points on the game.
As a team, Cedarville shot 48.3% from the floor the first and improved to a 60.9% field goal percentage in the second. On the defensive end, the Yellow Jackets impeccably held the Cavaliers to 26.1% shooting in the second half. Of the 24 points Walsh scored in the second, 12 came from free throws.
Cedarville only has one game in the next ten days. The Yellow Jackets’ next game is Thursday at Urbana University. With this break, Estepp said that it will be important for his players to rest their legs but also keep up with the intensity they have found with this recent winning streak.