by Tim Miller
Senior guard Patrick Bain broke out for 20 second-half points to help the Cedarville Yellow Jackets topple the Ohio Christian Trailblazers, 85-71 on Tuesday night. Bain finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.
Head coach Pat Estepp wasn’t pleased with the Yellow Jackets’ performance tonight.
“I thought Ohio Christian was more ready to play than us,” Estepp said. “We didn’t have a good enough intensity level and we weren’t communicating at a high enough level.”
Freshman forward Conner TenHove just missed out on a double-double, as he scored 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds.
“Conner gave us some really good minutes,” Estepp said. “He might have been the most consistent guy for the 40 minutes tonight. He played really well inside.”
Sophomore guard Demond Parker added 15 points and junior guard Grant Zawadzki poured in 10 points, three assists and three rebounds.
Zawadzki led the charge to start the game for the Yellow Jackets, scoring seven points in under four minutes. Zawadzki hit a jumper with 16:36 left to give Cedarville a 10-3 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets were the victim of a 10-4 run that brought the Trailblazers within one with 11:10 left. After an Ohio Christian trifecta, Cedarville called a timeout with a 14-13 lead.
After surrendering the lead for six minutes, the Yellow Jackets took it back thanks to a smooth dime from Zawadzki to TenHove. Zawadzki maneuvered his way to the cup before giving an acrobatic dish to TenHove, and TenHove powered his way to the basket for two and was fouled. The free throw gave Cedarville a 24-23 lead with 7:31 remaining.
Cedarville used that play to jump to an 11-0 run in the next four minutes. A Zawadzki free throw pushed the Yellow Jackets’ lead to 32-23 with 3:39 left, giving Cedarville its largest lead of the game.
The Yellow Jackets led 34-30 at halftime. TenHove was Cedarville’s leading scorer with nine points on 3-6 shooting and also managed four rebounds. Bain pulled down seven rebounds in the half, but failed to hit a shot from the field during the half.
“I don’t know that anything was wrong with Patrick,” Estepp said. “He was attacking the basket and took some good shots, he just wasn’t making any shots.”
Cedarville shot the ball poorly from the field, making shots at a 34 percent clip in the first 20 minutes.
Ohio Christian continued to battle in the second half and inched within one on multiple occasions in the first six minutes of the half. The Yellow Jackets gave themselves some space after Parker and Bain each converted a layup while getting fouled, and each made their impending free throws. With 14:21 on the clock, Cedarville led 48-41.
Bain finally caught fire during this period and scored six points in a minute. Bain’s spark allowed Cedarville to scorch Ohio Christian for a 17-5 run. With 11:49 left, Cedarville led 59-46 and the Trailblazers called a timeout.
Bain stayed hot and scored 11 points in the next five minutes. Cedarville continued to pull away from the Trailblazers and took a 72-56 lead with 6:18 remaining.
“Coach just gave me a little pep talk after halftime,” Bain said. “He let me know that I’m doing alright. My shots just starting falling in the second half and I would contribute it to my teammates finding me in my spots.”
The Yellow Jackets cruised from there to beat the Trailblazers and improve to 8-0 in the all-time series.
Cedarville will continue its homestand on Saturday afternoon for a tilt against Shawnee State (5-1). Shawnee State defeated Ohio Christian 69-55 on Nov. 8.
“We’re gonna have to play much better,” Estepp said. “They’re gonna press us for 40 minutes and we have not handled the press well this season. Our guys are gonna have to bring it.”
Tim Miller is a sophomore marketing major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys having a baby face, sipping Dunkin Donuts coffee and striving to be the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.