The Cedarville men’s basketball team let a lead slip away as they fell at home to Alderson Broaddus, 76-74. The Jackets led the Battlers up until the closing seconds, when the visiting team tipped in a missed shot with six seconds left.
Cedarville came out of the gate aggressively in a full court press and fell back into a zone. Sophomore forward Easton Bazzoli had a great first half. He hit two early threes and drove to the rim. The Jackets were executing in the half court and running the floor well. It looked like the Jackets were headed for a much-needed win over conference-leading Alderson Broaddus. Cedarville went into halftime leading, 36-29.
In the second half, Alderson Broaddus tried to chip into Cedarville’s lead, but the host team held them at bay with good offense. Cedarville shot 52 percent from the field, and it seemed like they might be able to pull off the upset. However, a momentum shift in the last four minutes doomed the Yellow Jackets. The Battlers hit numerous jumpers and methodically edged closer. Even after the game-deciding basket, Jason Cuffee got two decent looks on jump shots, but barely missed both.
The Jackets outplayed Alderson Broaddus for the majority of the game, but the Battlers made the big plays when it mattered the most. Cedarville shot a better percentage from the field, had more assists, made more free throws, and had fewer turnovers. Rebounding, however, turned out to be their undoing.
Rebounding was an issue throughout the contest for Cedarville. Alderson Broaddus came into the game averaging 37 rebounds per game, while Cedarville averages 31. The Battlers came down with 39 rebounds compared to Cedarville’s 22.
Cedarville’s scoring was balanced once again. Senior guard Marcus Reineke led the way with 19 points, Bazzoli added 17, and Smith tallied 12.
With this loss, the men’s team falls to 8-14. They are back in action Saturday at 4:15 p.m. in the Callan Athletic Center against Davis & Elkins.
Byron Brown is a junior global business major and sports reporter for Cedars. He plays for the JV basketball team here at Cedarville. His hobbies include playing sports, exercising, watching sports, eating and watching movies