Cedarville lost their season opener at home to Truman State Friday night by a score of 82-70.
JC Faubion lead the Jackets with 20 points and five rebounds. Easton Bazzoli added 15 points and six rebounds and Robert Okoro had 13 points and five rebounds.
One of the biggest issues for the Jackets highlighted by Head Coach Pat Estepp was getting production from their bench. The Jacket bench shot a combined 1-16 for two points compared to Truman State’s 20 points from their bench.
“We are not a team that is going to beat another team because of our first five,” Estepp said. “We gotta beat them with our second five. And those guys just didn’t show up tonight.”
Truman State also outshot Cedarville from the three point line. The Bulldogs shot 10-25 compared to the Jackets’ 4-20. Estepp said his team has to do a better job at the defensive end.
“We gotta defend a lot better,” Estepp said. “We defended well inside the three point line, but not outside the three point line. They are really good.”
Cedarville had a great start to the game. They began with a 9-0 lead thanks to baskets by Dazhonetae Bennett and Bazzoli. Truman State then scored 12 unanswered points of their own to make the score 12-9. They held that lead until the Jackets tied it up later in the half at 25. Neither team had a big run after that and kept trading baskets. Truman State lead 40-35 at halftime.
The Jackets scored the first five points of the second half to tie the game at 40. Then the Bulldogs built a ten-point lead in the next two minutes and never looked back. The Jackets chipped away at the lead at times, but The Bulldogs held on to their lead for the rest of the game.
“They (Truman) are a veteran team,” Estepp said. “They play in one of the best conferences in the country and they played everybody tough last year they got a lot of guys back. People expect them to be really good.”
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.