by Joshua Stevens
The Cedarville women’s basketball team stayed atop the G-MAC standings after an exciting 81-69 win against Ohio Dominican on Thursday.
In a game head coach Kari Hoffman described as a “dog fight,” her Lady Jackets (15-3, 11-1 G-MAC) stepped up to the challenge. Five Jackets scored in double digits, and the team forced 18 Panther turnovers. Leading the way were freshman Alli Roh with a career high 18 points, and senior Abby Wolford, who scored 17 and added four assists and four steals. Senior Regina Hochstetler scored 14, and guards Baylee Bennett and Ashlyn Huffman both added 12.
“Offensively, they shared the ball really well tonight,” said Hoffman.
With freshman guard Emily Chapman out, the Jackets still found ways to run the floor and get scoring opportunities throughout the contest.
“We pulled away by making some shots,” Hoffman said. “And we started contesting their 3’s. That was the difference maker.”
This was a game of runs. After a 10-4 run to start the game for the Jackets, the Panthers took a two-point lead after a two and a half-minute scoring drought from the Jackets. The Panther lead would grow to six, but the Jackets would keep fighting. A steal by Wolford led to a transition layup for Bennett, and a 3-pointer from Hochstetler tied the game at 24 early in the second quarter. The game remained close as Wolford converted a nice floater at the buzzer to end the first half, with the Jackets up 35-34.
The second half saw Roh get going early with two back-to-back baskets in the paint after nice lobs from her teammates, putting the Jackets up by three.
“We’ve been working a lot on lobs,” Roh said. “Abby and Stevie (Johnting) did a great job getting it inside tonight.”
After several minutes of more back-and-forth action, the Jackets pulled away late in the fourth quarter, as a basket from Huffman put the Jackets up 10 with 3:38 left. That lead would eventually grow to 12, as the Jackets iced the game with free throws, and walked away with another conference win.
“We knew this was a big one,” Roh said.
With the Jackets still on top of the G-MAC, they get Ohio Valley at home before hitting the road for contests against Findlay, Hillsdale, Kentucky Wesleyan and Trevecca. With only one conference loss, the Jackets look to keep the momentum going, even with the long road trip.
“If you want to stay first in the conference, these conference games really matter,” said Roh.
Joshua Stevens is a junior journalism major and sports writer for Cedars. He enjoys rooting for the Tennessee Titans and listening to old-school music.