Cedarville lost to Walsh Thursday evening 78-73 in a game that went down to the wire.
The game went back and forth in the final minutes until Walsh scored a basket and got fouled. They made the free throw to take a three point lead with under a minute left.
JC Faubion lead the Jackets in points and rebounds with 17 and seven. Dazhonetae Bennett added 14 points and Patrick Bain scored 13 points off the bench.
Cedarville Head Coach Pat Estepp said his team failed to capitalize on opportunities given to them in the first half.
“I felt like our chance to really push the lead out was in the first half, and we didn’t take advantage of it,” Estepp said. “We were really stagnate offensively, we weren’t moving, the ball wasn’t moving. We were missing easy shots.”
Estepp said they also did not defend well in the second half.
“We didn’t defend at all,” Estepp said. “You are not gonna let a good team shoot over 69% from the floor and go beat them. It’s not gonna happen. We didn’t defend, and that’s my responsibility.”
Cedarville lead Walsh at half 32-28. Both teams got off to sloppy starts. Bennett scored the first two points of the game off a pair of free throws. Faubion made a pair of free throws off a technical foul and Bennett added another basket to get Cedarville a two-for-one opportunity and made their lead 8-4.
Walsh fought their way back in the game and made back-to-back three-pointers to take a 15-10 lead. Cedarville would not be outdone though.
After both teams traded baskets, Bennett scored five straight points off a three-pointer and a dunk to put Cedarville back in the lead 21-20. Cedarville held their lead for the rest of the half.
Bennett had nine points and two rebounds in the first half and Faubion had eight points and four rebounds. Kwenton Scott and Bain also contributed off the bench. Scott scored four and Bain added five.
The second half was big for Walsh. They shot nearly 70% from the floor, including 67% from the three-point line.
Walsh had a 13-2 run to take the lead 43-37. Cedarville answered with a 13-2 run of their own to regain the lead 50-45.
After trading baskets, Bennett scored five straight points once again to put Cedarville up 64-61.
Both teams continued to fight to the end. Easton Bazzoli had a great hustle play with one minute and 47 seconds left in the game. With both teams tied at 69, he stole a Walsh pass and drove to the other end to draw a foul. He made one of the free throws to put Cedarville back in the lead 70-69.
Walsh answered at the other end with a three. Robert Okoro answered at the other end with a tip-in layup to tie the game at 72.
Walsh answered back with an and-one opportunity and capitalized to take the lead 75-72 and maintained the lead until the end.
Cedarville’s next game will be Saturday at Northwood at 3:00 p.m. The Jackets will also be seeing more of Walsh in the future as they will be joining the GMAC conference next year.
Josh Burris is a senior journalism major and the sports editor for Cedars. He is interested in sports broadcasting and reporting. He enjoys watching sports, lifting, and listening to rock and rap music.