by Tim Miller
The Cedarville Lady Jackets took down the Ohio Valley Fighting Scots on Saturday evening, cruising to the tune of a 93-56 thrashing. The Lady Jackets made 17 triples in the contest, which broke the school record by a single shot.
Sophomore guard Ashlyn Huffman poured in 20 points for the Lady Jackets and made three of her four attempts from deep. Senior guard Regina Hochstetler scored 16 points, making four of her six tries from behind the 3-point line. Senior forward Abby Wolford continued her tear, scoring 15 points and adding five rebounds and four assists.
“We started off a little slow and struggled to knock down shots in the first half,” Huffman said. “We went into half and talked about what we needed to change and started knocking down some big shots.”
The Lady Jackets forced 19 turnovers while creating 21 assists. Cedarville enjoyed another hot day of shooting, making 55 percent of its shots and 47 percent of its attempts from behind the 3-point line.
Cedarville got off to a relatively slow start given its competition, and at the media timeout, the Lady Jackets led 10-7. Huffman was effective in the first five minutes, scoring seven points.
Hochstetler scorched the net with triples on two straight possessions to put Cedarville up 21-12 with 1:59 left, but the Lady Jackets struggled on the defensive end, keeping the Fighting Scots in the game even with Cedarville’s quick scoring.
Ohio Valley’s offense paced Cedarville’s enough to end the quarter without feeling clearly unmatched. After one frame, the Lady Jackets led 23-17. Cedarville shot better than 50 percent from the field and from deep.
Head coach Kari Hoffman echoed Huffman in saying they sputtered in the first half.
“We started a little slow and weren’t as urgent as we needed to be,” Hoffman said. “We fixed some things at halftime and came out and shot the ball really, really well.”
Hoffman swiftly filtered reserves in during the second quarter, and 11 Lady Jackets found playing time before the period was halfway over. By the end of the quarter, every active player had seen playing time.
Cedarville had multiple chances to push its lead to double digits in the quarter, but the Lady Jackets failed to make stops, which continually kept the Fighting Scots in the game.
The Lady Jackets were undoubtably not where they wanted to be heading into halftime, as Cedarville led by just seven, 39-32. Cedarville missed all eight of its 3-point tries during the quarter. Huffman had 11 points and four rebounds and Hochstetler helped with 10 points and went 2-4 from deep.
Regardless of the score, Cedarville seemed to have the game in the bag. The seven-point halftime margin may have been cause for concern had Cedarville’s starters dominated playing time, but the Lady Jackets’ bench was able to contribute to keeping the lead through 20 minutes.
Wolford nailed two triples to start the second half, and her second put Cedarville up 48-34 with 7:01 on the clock. Huffman euroed her way to the cup on Cedarville’s next score and made a free throw after the bucket to put Cedarville up 51-34 with 5:33 left, and Cedarville seemed to create true distance for the first time.
Cedarville earned its first 20-point lead after Wolford intercepted a pass and took it coast to coast for what was quite possibly her easiest collegiate basket. With 2:24 left, the Lady Jackets led 59-38.
The Lady Jackets closed the third with a 61-41 advantage. Wolford scored eight points in the frame and Cedarville forced seven turnovers.
Cedarville connected on each of its first eight shots in the final frame, five of which came from deep. The Lady Jackets didn’t miss a shot until there was less than four minutes left, and Cedarville led 84-53 at that point.
Lady Jacket starters played just four minutes before ceding playtime time to the reserves to close out the game. Cedarville shot 87 percent (13-15) from the field and 88 percent from deep (7-8) in the final quarter.
Huffman credited the bench’s effort tonight, as Cedarville scored 34 points off the bench. Senior guard Ellie Juengel scored a season-high 11 points to lead the bench, eight of which came in the final quarter.
“A lot of that goes to the girls that came in that second string,” Huffman said. “They played incredible.”
The Lady Jackets will be away from home for their next four games and have a huge weekend next week. Cedarville will travel to Findlay on Thursday night for a chance to distance itself from the second-place Oilers, and then will take on Hillsdale on Saturday.
“We’re gonna look at it as one game at a time,” Hoffman said. “Games are big moving into February but we still want to improve and we haven’t hit our ceiling yet.”
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.