The Cedarville Lady Jackets used a strong second half to pull away from conference rival Central State University and win their ninth straight game, 89-62.
The Marauders provided an early challenge for a team that had won its previous three games by an average of 39 points. The game started off with a fast tempo, and neither team was able to build much of a lead. Cedarville’s three-point shot was not falling down. The Jackets made their first three ten minutes into the first half.
The Lady Jackets grabbed many of their misses, but they were unable to turn those offensive rebounds into second-chance points.
Cedarville went into halftime with a 37-30 lead. They shot 37 percent from the field in the first half.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Cedarville scored 16 straight points, forcing Central State to burn two timeouts. By then, the lead was 53-32, and the rout was on. The Jackets forced multiple turnovers and scored baskets in transition. The lead grew to as much as 30, and Cedarville won by 27, 89-62.
Coach Kirk Martin said he was pleased with his team’s improvement in the rebounding department. The last time they played Central State, they were out-rebounded by 23. Tonight, however, Cedarville won the battle of the boards by 15.
Guard Raegan Ryan led all players with 24 points, eight assists and three steals, and she grabbed four rebounds as well. Guard Kaysie Brittenham added 18 points, five rebounds and three steals. Two other Jackets scored in double figures.
As a team, Cedarville shot 47 percent from the field, including 59 percent in the second half. They had a big advantage in the paint, outscoring Central State 44-16.
The Lady Jackets have now won nine in a row. Their record stands at 19-2, including a perfect 9-0 in conference play. Martin stressed, however, the importance of not getting too comfortable with the team’s success.
“We know that we have to have a record that’s significantly better than everybody else in our region to even think about getting a bid (for the national tournament),” he said, “so we got to keep this thing rolling for purposes of hoping that we’ll be respected enough to get a bid.”
Cedarville plays its next game on Thursday, February 5, at 5:30 p.m. at home against Alderson-Broaddus.
Jonathan Gallardo is a junior journalism major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys playing basketball, reading Tolkien and Dr. Seuss, writing fiction and poetry, and listening to Hans Zimmer and August Burns Red.