by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets battled the Division I Akron Zips in an exhibition on Tuesday night, and the Zips pulled away from Cedarville in the second half to win, 70-50.
While the game will not count against Cedarville’s record, the win for Akron gives the Zips one in the win column, as the matchup counted as Akron’s season-opener.
Freshman guard Branden Maughmer led the Yellow Jackets in scoring with 15 points on 7-12 shooting and also pulled down six rebounds. Senior guard Grant Zawadzki totaled nine points, three rebounds, and two assists. Freshman center Kollin Van Horn earned the start and had eight points and six rebounds.
Akron’s size and speed clamped Cedarville’s offense from the beginning. The Zips leaped to a 10-5 lead with 17:02 left in the first half and seemed primed to take the game away before the Yellow Jackets had a chance to get acquainted.
However, the Yellow Jackets got warmed up enough to use a run that gave them a lead and went up 15-10 with 12:52 remaining after senior forward Robert Okoro scored his first points of the game.
Cedarville and Akron continued to level with each other as the first half waned. Neither team could grab a two-possession advantage, and with 3:31 left, Akron held a 28-26 margin.
Scoring was stifled in the final couple of minutes, but Cedarville had a chance to take the lead into the half. Instead, the Yellow Jackets squandered their opportunity and suffered a turnover. At the half, Akron led 31-29.
Maughmer had 13 points at the half on 6-8 shooting. He also grabbed five rebounds. No other Yellow Jacket reached above six points after 20 minutes.
As a team, Cedarville was abysmal from behind the arc, shooting 2-12. The teams were even on the class, each totaling 20. The Yellow Jackets and Zips also matched each other in turnovers with five.
Neither team could put the ball in the cup to start the second half until Akron splashed a triple with 17:57 left, which pushed the game to a two-possession contest for the first time since Akron led 10-5.
The Zips were able to pull away from the Yellow Jackets as the second half went on and took a 44-33 lead with 13:44 left.
Energy lulled in the next couple minutes, but Cedarville was unable to take momentum. The Yellow Jackets enjoyed a possession with four offensive rebounds, but were unable to score off the extra chances. With 9:17 left, Akron called a timeout to refocus, winning 47-38.
Akron would go on to score 13 points in a row to put the game away. The Yellow Jackets shot just 5-25 from deep in the game and 35 percent from the field.
Cedarville officially opens its season on Friday at the G-MAC/GLVC crossover in Kirksville, Missouri. The Yellow Jackets will play Quincy before taking on Truman State the next day. Cedarville’s home-opener will come a week later at the Don Callan Classic, as the Yellow Jackets will battle Campbellsville-Somerset and Shawnee State during the weekend.
- Freshman guard Branden Maughmer started and made his first four attempts from the field
- Senior guard Grant Zawadzki picked up his second foul with nine minutes remaining in the first half, each of which were offensive
- Junior transfer forward Seth Ditmer did not enter the game until the six-minute mark in the first half
- Holding just a two-point lead at halftime, ESPN still gave the Zips an 84 percent chance to win
Tim Miller is a junior marketing major and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys having a baby face, knowing too much about supplemental insurance, and striving to perfect the optimal combination of Dwight Schrute and Ron Swanson.