In her last regular season home game, senior guard Raegan Ryan led the 22nd-ranked Cedarville women’s basketball team against Ursuline in a 71-58 win.
Ryan scored 25 points, including 10 in the first half, where she also grabbed six rebounds. The two teams played a close first half, with Cedarville leading the Arrows after 20 minutes of play, 27-21. The Jackets shot 30 percent from the field.
In the second half, Ryan handled the ball well, and scored 15 points. The team followed suit with a big offensive second half, finishing the game with 71 points after scoring just 27 in the first frame. They shot 57 percent from the field, a big improvement over the first half. Kayla Linkous got into the act, scoring 11 points of her own, while Regina Hochstetler added 7 points.
The Lady Jackets were not as dominant as normal in the post, scoring 28 points in the paint, the same as the Arrows. Cedarville was also out-rebounded, 42-39, the first time this has happened since January 3 against Central State.
Cedarville did improve in its ball security. After committing 28 turnovers in their last game, the team only gave the ball away 10 times, nearly a season low.
However, this night was about the Lady Jackets’ two seniors, Ryan and Gordon. It was fitting they both were healthy and highly productive on the court for their senior send-off.
When asked about their careers, both players said they felt they had matured in many areas on and off the court during their four years in the program.
“I think I’ve grown more off the court,” Gordon said, “just dealing with the team and dealing with the girls and building character; it’s been fun.”
Ryan, on the other hand, said her growth came on the court.
“I feel like I’ve grown in leadership areas,” she said. “As a point guard, it’s important to lead your team well.”
Ryan said she relished that role this season as part of a young, talented team that had solid guards but needed someone to run the show. Looking back on a season in which almost everything went right, she said she was grateful for the opportunity to play for Cedarville.
“I’m just thankful the Lord has got me here,” she said. “He has grown me as a person, and I think of the phrase, ‘he doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.’ Being here has stretched me into more of who God wants me to be.”
Gordon also directed the attention away from herself and towards God.
“It is really such a testament to him that we were able to complete four years here, through so many tough practices and games,” she said.
Both players said they hope to see Cedarville become a competitive Division II basketball program.
The Lady Jackets now sit at 25-3 heading into the G-MAC conference tournament, where they will be the top seed. The tournament will be held at Cedarville March 5-7.
Dave Guidone is a junior social studies education major and sports reporter for Cedars. His hobbies include eating, snacking, shooting hoops and laughing. Hebrews 13:8.