by Tim Miller
Regina Hochstetler scored 26 points and notched 1,000 in her career in a 83-62 win over Malone on Tuesday evening. The junior helped lead the Cedarville Lady Jackets (17-3, 12-2 G-MAC) to a wire-to-wire victory.
“I’m feeling super blessed just to be surrounded by the coaches and teammates that I’m surrounded by at Cedarville,” Hochstetler said of the milestone. “They make it fun and easy and I couldn’t have done it without them.
Hochstetler shot 8-13 and 4-6 from behind the arc and added five rebounds. Senior forward Breanne Watterworth piled in 16 points and seven rebounds on 7-8 shooting. Junior guard Baylee Bennett reached a season-high in assists with seven and scored seven points.
“I haven’t seen us put together a complete game offensively and defensively like that all season,” head coach Kari Hoffman said.
The Lady Jackets scored the first eight points of the game, with senior guard Kaitlyn Holm contributing the first four and Watterworth adding the next four. Malone answered with five straight points after calling a timeout, and with 5:40 left in the first quarter, Cedarville owned an 8-5 lead.
The Lady Jackets extended their lead in the final five minutes of the quarter, ending the quarter holding their largest lead of the game at 11. Holm totaled six points, two rebounds and two assists in the first frame.
Hochstetler notched 1,000 career points early in the second quarter, nailing a triple from the corner. The shot put Cedarville up 28-16.
Cedarville took its first 20-point lead with 3:10 remaining in the quarter. Bennett swished her first three-pointer to put the Lady Jackets up 36-16.
The Lady Jackets continued to dominate to close the half. Hochstetler beat the buzzer to reach 18 points and gave Cedarville a 45-25 lead. Hochstetler pulled down a team-high five rebounds in the first 20 minutes. Cedarville shot 57 percent from the field and 56 percent from behind the arc in the half.
Cedarville was well in control of the game after three quarters and took a 63-43 lead into the final quarter. Watterworth and Hochstetler each scored six points in the quarter to lead the Lady Jackets.
The Lady Jackets coasted in the fourth and reserves were filtered into the rotation. Every player that dressed for Cedarville played in the game.
Hoffman said the team’s ability to lock Malone down on defense was better than any game this year.
“I don’t think we’ve put together a defensive effort like that all season,” Hoffman said. “I’m very pleased with how we defended and how we rebounded.”
Cedarville finishes the month of January without a blemish at 9-0. The Lady Jackets are hot, but Hoffman recognizes they must finish strong in the final month of the regular season.
“Great teams finish well in February and do it again in March,” Hoffman said. “To put yourself in position to be successful in March, you have to be great in February. That’s really what I’m expecting from our team.”
The Lady Jackets aim to keep their positioning as the No. 1 team in the G-MAC in their annual trip south to play Kentucky Wesleyan and Trevecca this Thursday and Saturday respectively. Cedarville defeated both teams in back-to-back games in December.
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.