by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets (3-1) never trailed in their 87-64 thrashing of the Ohio Christian University Trail Blazers on Tuesday night. No player played more than 23 minutes in the matchup as Cedarville was able to filter in bench players throughout due to the lopsidedness of the game.
Freshman guard Emily Chapman came off the bench and dominated for the Lady Jackets, scoring 18 points on 7-10 shooting. Senior forward Abby Wolford recorded 13 points and five rebounds and made all three of her shots from deep. Senior guard Regina Hochstetler had 11 points and three rebounds and senior guard Baylee Bennett added 10 points and six assists.
While Cedarville suffered 14 turnovers and only had two more rebounds than OCU, head coach Kari Hoffman was still happy with the team’s performance in the big picture.
“Overall, it was a good win,” Hoffman said. “You look at the stats and you’re not super thrilled, but thankful to get a win heading into Thanksgiving.”
Cedarville dominated from the start, scoring the first eight points of the contest. The Lady Jackets took a 10-point lead just four minutes into the game after Chapman nailed a triple on her first shot of the game.
The Lady Jackets maintained their tight hold on the game and Bennett nailed a triple at the buzzer to deflate the Trail Blazers even more heading into the second frame.
Bennett had 10 points in the quarter on 3-4 shooting and also added two assists. Wolford, Chapman, and Hochstetler each had five points in the first. As a team, Cedarville shot 59 percent from the field while holding OCU to 25 percent. The Lady Jackets forced six turnovers in the opening period.
Huffman sparked the Lady Jacket offense even more to start the second quarter, converting two saucy layups in a row to get her scoring started. Huffman dropped a dime to freshman forward Lexi Moore that allowed Cedarville to double OCU’s total, and the Trail Blazers called a timeout trailing 36-18 with 6:33 on the clock.
The Trail Blazers mounted a minute comeback to close the half, and after their third banked triple of the game and a banked free throw, Cedarville’s lead was cut to 43-32 with 34 seconds left.
Sophomore guard Stevie Johnting converted a strong free throw with five seconds left to give Cedarville a 45-32 lead to hold into the half.
Chapman and Bennett matched each other in scoring with 10 points each through the first 20 minutes. Wolford had seven points and four rebounds in the first half. Cedarville managed to shoot even better in the second at 62 percent and made eight of 17 attempts (47 percent) from behind the arc in the half. Of the 13 active players for the night, 11 saw playing time at some point in the first.
Wolford, Hochstetler, and Chapman splashed trifectas to open the third quarter which allowed Cedarville to claim its first 20-point lead. With 7:10 on the clock, the Lady Jackets led 54-32.
The Lady Jackets tore apart OCU en route to a 17-1 run in the first six minutes of the period. Offensive rebounds and forced turnovers were plentiful as the Lady Jackets effectively took the Trail Blazers out of the game at that point.
By the end of the third, Hoffman had emptied her bench. Cedarville led 70-47 after three quarters. Chapman reached 18 points after three frames thanks to eight points in the third. The Lady Jackets continued to clamp OCU and forced eight turnovers.
“This was one of those games that you want to get reserves minutes,” Hoffman said. “Doing that strategically is important. I was pleased with how they played and there wasn’t a huge let down when they went in.”
Hoffman plugged in her starters for the final two-and-a-half minutes of the fourth before quickly slotting in reserves. Junior guard Anna DeFilippo had five points and two assists in the quarter to lead a period that saw reserves close out the victory.
Cedarville will enjoy a short Thanksgiving break before heading back into action against Hillsdale on Nov. 29. The Lady Jackets swept Hillsdale in two meetings last season.
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.