The Cedarville men’s basketball team held on late against Davis & Elkins tonight, withstanding numerous comeback attempts by the visiting Senators en route to a 63-58 victory.
The Yellow Jackets took a 20-10 lead part way through the first half, threatening to put away the Senators early. The visitors fought back, never letting the lead extend beyond 10 points and closed it to two going into halftime.
The second half was back and forth with both sides trading baskets. Davis & Elkins took the lead with 12:33 left on Wesley Sprinkle’s 3-pointer. Thirty-three seconds later, the Jackets took the lead back on Lane Vander Hulst’s layup, never to relinquish it again.
The Jackets had several opportunities to put the finishing touches on the win in the final minutes, but missed free throw opportunities, including two misses on the front end of 1-and-1’s, kept Davis & Elkins in it. Up one with a minute remaining, Vander Hulst made a heavily contested layup to go up three. Marcus Reineke fouled with six seconds remaining, giving Davis & Elkins a 1-and-1 opportunity. After rebounding the missed front end, Jason Cuffee made two free throws to seal the victory.
Reineke led the Jackets with 18 points, Leighton Smith added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Vander Hulst had 11 points.
It was a memorable night for Brian Grant, who scored eight points, giving him 1,005 for his career. His 1,000th point came on a layup part way through the first half. Grant is the 51st member of Cedarville’s 1,000-point club. A senior from Kingston, Jamaica, he has played in nearly every game throughout his four years at Cedarville, averaging 9.22 points per contest.
With the win Cedarville moves to 4-11 (2-1 GMAC) on the season. Both the men and women will host Alderson Broaddus Saturday, Jan 18. The tipoff for the women is at 2 p.m. with the men to follow.
Tyler Greenwood is a freshman mechanical engineering major and a sports reporter for Cedars. He can be followed on Twitter at @tgreenwood413.