by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets (19-4, 14-3 G-MAC) picked up a pivotal conference win over Ohio Dominican on Saturday evening, 93-88. The Lady Jackets used just eight players and had only 10 active for the game.
Senior guard Kaitlyn Holm recorded a double-double with 21 points and 13 rebounds. Cedarville was without leading scorer Regina Hochstetler (torn ACL, out for season) and Emily Williams (grade three ankle sprain, out at least three weeks), among others in the contest. Holm said the team’s ability to stick together was key in picking up the win.
“We knew it was going to be a really hard game with our injuries,” Holm said. “We stepped up throughout different points in the game. I think we made the plays that we needed to.”
Junior guard Baylee Bennett led the way with 27 points on 7-13 shooting from behind the arc. Freshman guard Stevie Johnting turned in 12 points on 4-8 shooting from long range.
Senior forward Breanne Watterworth had had 10 points and eclipsed 1,000 in her career in the game.
“Big congrats to Bre for scoring 1,000 points,” Hoffman said. “That’s a huge accomplishment for her.”
Cedarville missed its first shot of the game, but Bennett snuck away with a steal after Ohio Dominican grabbed the rebound, which led to a Johnting 3-pointer to give the Lady Jackets the first points of the game.
Johnting added another triple from the same spot as her first to give Cedarville an 8-2 lead with 7:55 left.
A 7-0 run allowed the Lady Jackets to take the first momentum swing of the game. Cedarville owned a 15-6 lead at the media timeout.
Ohio Dominican used strong transition offense to cut down the Lady Jackets’ lead, and a triple brought the Panthers within striking distance with 3:10 remaining, trailing 18-14.
Cedarville closed the quarter shooting 55 percent from the field and held a 28-22 margin. Holm had nine points and grabbed three rebounds and Johnting had nine points on 3-5 shooting from behind the arc.
Ohio Dominican scored the first six points of the second quarter to cut Cedarville’s advantage to 28-26.
With 7:07 remaining, the game was stopped due to Ohio Dominican’s leading scorer, Sarah Futscher, suffering an apparent knee injury. As Futscher received medical attention, the two teams met on the floor to pray for Futscher. The game was delayed for over 10 minutes.
“It was a valiant effort by Ohio Dominican with one of their players going down early,” Hoffman said. “You hate to see that and I thought they used that as motivation and shot the ball incredible.”
Johnting and Bennett hit back-to-back shots from deep to give Cedarville a 39-31 lead with 4:32 on the clock. The shot was Johnting’s last of the game.
The Lady Jackets ended the first half with a 49-43 lead. Bennett heated up to close the quarter and finished as the leading scorer with 15 points in the first 20 minutes. Johnting was right behind with 12 points. The two combined to hit 7 of their 13 attempts from behind the 3-point line.
Holm added nine points and wrangled eight rebounds in 18 minutes. Senior forward Taylor Buckley also scored nine points and pulled down four rebounds.
Ohio Dominican was hot out of the break and tied the game at 54 with eight minutes left in the third quarter. Cedarville called a quick timeout after fumbling its lead to open the period.
The Panthers owned a 63-59 lead with 4:30 left after converting an and-one and making the free throw.
Freshman guard Ashlyn Huffman handed the lead back to the Lady Jackets after going coast-to-coast for a layup. Junior guard Kelly Poole nailed a trifecta on the next possession to put Cedarville up 67-63 with 1:46 left.
At the end of the third, Cedarville held a 69-68 margin. Bennett scored six points in the quarter after knocking down two triples.
With 6:36 left in the fourth, Holm found Watterworth for an easy layup to put Cedarville up 81-77, marking the first time in the quarter the game had been separated by more than one possession.
Cedarville continued to battle with Ohio Dominican, but was unable to fight the Panthers off. Holm swished an open mid-range jumper with 3:42 left to put the Lady Jackets back up by four. On the next possession, Holm sank a shot while being fouled. Her free throw rimmed out, but the Lady Jackets led 89-85.
Ohio Dominican forced a turnover and with 1:33 left and made one of two free throws to cut the margin to three, 89-86.
Cedarville made a key defensive stop to hold on to win, and Holm finished off Ohio Dominican with two free throws with 13 seconds left. Holm then caught an inbound pass, swiping it from the Panthers that ended any chances of Ohio Dominican coming back.
“Players step up and make plays this time of year,” Hoffman said. “Kaitlyn did that at the end and I’m really proud of her effort.”
The Lady Jackets continue their intense stretch of games on Tuesday night with a bout at Findlay. Findlay is 17-6 and 14-5 in the G-MAC and lost to Ursuline today.
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.