The Cedarville Yellow Jackets men’s basketball team lost a close game to the Findlay Oilers on Wednesday night, 69-60. The Jackets trailed 33-26 at half and could never get any closer than three as Findlay won their first game of the year on the road.
With 11 minutes to go in the second half, junior guard J.C. Faubion drove in for the and-one layup to cut the lead to 49-42. Although he missed the free throw, on the next possession Faubion came down and hit a three as the Jackets battled in the closing minutes. Patrick Bain, a sophomore and the team’s leading scorer, blocked an Oiler’s attempt in the paint to force a shot-clock violation. This play resulted in a foul on the other end and two free-throws from junior forward Easton Bazzoli, making the game close 63-60. However, the Oilers went on to score the final six points of the game.
Faubion and Bain played well for the Jackets, scoring 14 and 15 points, respectively. Freshman forward Robert Okoro had six points, six rebounds and five steals.
The Jackets’ defense kept them in the game, sophomore guard Evan Kraatz said.
“We were able to hold them to less than 40 percent shooting from the field, which is definitely a goal of ours,” he said. “We played really good on defense but we missed lots of layups and didn’t shoot the ball well.”
The Jackets took the ball into the paint repeatedly in the second half, which helped keep the game close. They drew early fouls and went to the free throw line 16 times in the game, making nine of them. However, the Oilers went to the line 23 times and made 16 of their free attempts.
The Jackets have their youngest squad in years, with seven freshmen, but despite the team’s youth, Bazzoli said he is hopeful going forward.
“One of these games we are just going to blow up and hit a lot of shots, while playing good defense as well,” he said. “We’re looking forward to that game.”
The Jackets (0-3) will play their next home game against Northwood University at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21.
Dave Guidone is a senior social studies education major and sports reporter for Cedars. His hobbies include eating, snacking, shooting hoops and laughing. Hebrews 13:8.