by Tim Miller
Patrick Bain scored his 1,000th career point in the Cedarville Yellow Jackets (6-2, 1-0 G-MAC) conference opening win over the Trevecca Nazarene Trojans. Bain finished with 21 points, all of which came in the second half. Bain also added seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.
Bain said he’s humbled to play college basketball, and even more so to score 1,000 points.
“It’s a good feeling,” Bain said. “I couldn’t have done it without my teammates constantly supporting me and coach [Estepp] always motivating me. It means a lot that my entire family was there tonight.”
Head coach Patrick Estepp praised Bain for his demeanor and work ethic.
“I’m really proud of Pat,” Estepp said. “Nobody works harder than him. We’ve had a lot of guys who are gym rats, but no one has been a bigger gym rat than him in my 18 years here. He deserves everything he gets this year.”
Sophomore guard Demond Parker chipped in 17 points on 6-9 shooting and dished out three assists. Junior guard Grant Zawadzki was the only other player in double digits with 10 points.
“We just couldn’t find a flow in the game,” Estepp said. “Trying to find a group that worked and at least got the ball moving was something we looked for until the end of the game.”
Cedarville and Trevecca progressed with each other to start the game. At the media timeout, the game was tied at seven with 14:53 on the clock. Zawadzki led the charge for the Yellow Jackets with five points.
A 3-pointer by Parker and layup by junior guard Kwenton Scott on consecutive possessions put Cedarville up 14-11 with 12:27 remaining.
Cedarville took a 10-point lead with 8:32 left after senior guard Evan Kraatz rattled in a triple off a Parker assist. The Yellow Jackets owned a 21-11 margin thanks to the 14-2 run.
Scoring stagnated for the next five minutes, and neither team scored for over a two-minute span. Trevecca broke the curse with two free throws to cut its deficit to 26-19 with 3:40 left.
Cedarville extended its lead to close the half and went into the intermission owning a 32-22 lead. Parker had 10 points and three assists and junior forward Robert Okoro added three points and five rebounds.
The Yellow Jackets shot at a much better clip than the Trojans in the first half, as Cedarville hit 43 percent of its shot compared to 21 percent for Trevecca.
Trevecca opened the second half by scoring five points in the first four minutes of a defensive slugfest. Cedarville scored its first points of the half with 16:24 left thanks to junior forward Gabriel Portillo lobbing a pass to Bain, which Bain converted to a layup. Junior forward Joey Morlan added a 3-pointer on the next possession to put the Yellow Jackets up 37-29.
The Yellow Jackets pushed their lead to double digits with 11:22 remaining to lead 48-38. Bain used a backdoor cut to get space and took Scott’s pass to the cup for two.
Trevecca answered with a 14-8 run to cut the Yellow Jacket lead to 56-52 with 7:42 left.
“I thought we lost a little bit of our edge on the defensive end in the second half,” head coach Patrick Estepp said.
With 7:15 on the clock, Bain recovered an offensive rebound and followed by making a layup. The shot gave him 1,000 career points in his Yellow Jacket career. Cedarville led 58-52 at the mark and extended its lead to 65-55 with 5:00 left. Trevecca called a timeout to halt the Yellow Jacket momentum swing.
Cedarville held a tight grip on its lead and never let the margin drop below eight points to close the game. The Yellow Jackets used free throws and rebounding to put the game to bed.
The Yellow Jackets will take on Kentucky Wesleyan on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. The Yellow Jackets were swept by the Panthers last season.
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.