by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets (5-2) blew out the Shawnee State Bears on Saturday night by a final count of 106-80. Cedarville shot 63 percent from the field and 69 percent from behind the 3-point line in the game.
Junior forward Joey Morlan broke out for a career-high 20 points on 6-8 shooting from behind the arc. Morlan said ending his slow start to the season tonight will give him confidence going forward.
“It was nice to see a couple go down tonight,” Morlan said. “In the last couple games, I’ve really struggled to hit shots and it was nice to see the slump come to an end tonight.”
Freshman forward Conner TenHove led the Yellow Jackets with 23 points on 10-16 shooting.
“Conner TenHove was tremendos again,” head coach Pat Estepp said. “He’s got a chance to be a special player here.”
Senior guard Patrick Bain added 15 points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal.
Shawnee State clamped down on Cedarville to start the game, and the Yellow Jackets didn’t make a field goal until TenHove’s short corner jumper with 16:50 left in the first half. Sophomore guard Demond Parker swished a shot from behind the arc on the ensuing possession to tie the game at seven with 16:17 remaining.
With 12:52 left, TenHove hit a quick hook shot to give Cedarville a 16-15 lead. Shawnee State answered back with a quick triple to go up 18-16 with 12:32 left. The unrelenting scoring continued, as TenHove netted a wide-open 3-pointer to put the Yellow Jackets back up 19-18.
The fast-paced play continued to the under-eight timeout, as the game was tied at 25 with 7:22 on the clock. Bain hit a corner trifecta late in the shot clock on the first possession after the timeout to give Cedarville a 28-25 lead with 6:55 remaining.
With 6:02 left, junior forward Robert Okoro left the game with an apparent head injury. Okoro did not return in the half and contributed five points and two rebounds in nine minutes.
The Yellow Jackets scored on two of their next three possessions to take a 32-27 lead with 5:24 left, their largest of the game.
The Yellow Jackets owned the lead for the remainder of the first half and took a 42-36 lead into halftime. TenHove led the Yellow Jackets in scoring with 11 points. The Yellow Jackets committed nine fouls in the half, and three players owned two fouls after the first 20 minutes.
The high-scoring half was thanks in part to each team shooting at least 50 percent from the field. Cedarville scorched from behind the arc, making 6-8 3-point attempts in the half.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with a 15-6 run. The run allowed Cedarville to go up 57-42 and Shawnee State called a timeout with 16:57 left. Junior guard Grant Zawadzki added a team-high six points during the stretch.
Cedarville continued to pour it on Shawnee State and took a 70-50 lead after Parker made his second triple of the game. On the Bears’ next possession, Shawnee State turned the ball over causing a stoppage in play. During the break, Cedarville and Shawnee State were assessed double technicals as minutes of chippy play caught up to both teams.
Cedarville was assessed its second technical foul with Bain found himself all alone on a fastbreak. Bain hammered the ball through the rim for a powerful dunk, but added too much of an exclamation point by hanging on the rim. Regardless, the Yellow Jackets led 81-53 with 9:21 on the clock.
The Yellow Jackets had the game handled from there, as Morlan’s sixth triple sent Cedarville to triple digits to lead 102-70 with 3:51 left.
Cedarville will open conference play on Thursday in a bout against Trevecca Nazarene at home. The two teams split their two meetings last season and Trevecca is just 1-7 this 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.