by Joshua Decker
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets opened their 2020-2021 season with a 102-95 home loss to Ohio Valley University. Both teams went on runs throughout the game, but Ohio Valley emerged victorious after fending off a late Cedarville comeback attempt.
The matchup was highly anticipated following Cedarville’s first couple games of the year being postponed after multiple COVID-19 positive tests within the program.
Cedarville was without four key returning players for the game. Senior Conner TenHove, redshirt junior Quinton Green, as well as juniors Brandon Maughmer and Kollin VanHorn were all out due to COVID-19 procedures. All four players were top-five scorers for the Yellow Jackets last season.
Sophomore Jacob Drees opened the scoring for the Yellow Jackets with a lay-up following an offensive rebound. Drees continued to pace the Jackets’ offense- scoring 12 points in the half and shooting 2-2 from three-point range. In his first game as a Yellow Jacket, freshman Grant Whisman dropped 14 points in the first half.
The Yellow Jackets’ managed to climb to a couple small leads, but Ohio Valley ended the half with some solid offensive play. Freshman Jayvon Maughmer got into foul trouble in the half, and was forced to the bench after picking up his third personal foul.
Ohio Valley took a 48-45 lead into halftime. Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the first half, with Ohio Valley at 51.5 percent and Cedarville at 56.3 percent, respectively.
In the second half, both teams continued to shoot the ball well. Cedarville ended the night at 50.7% from the field, and Ohio Valley finished at 50.8 percent.
The Yellow Jackets got into foul trouble in the second half, however. Three players – Isaiah Speelman, Jayvon Maughmer, and Brandon Redendo – ended up fouling out for Cedarville down the stretch of the game.
Cedarville cut the lead to two possessions late in the game, but Ohio Valley continued to be strong from the free throw line when Cedarville fouled. The Yellow Jackets hit a few shots in the last minute to close the gap, but it was too little, too late for a comeback.
Ohio Valley controlled the glass by a small margin, ending the game with a 35-33 advantage on the boards. Ohio Valley was also a strong 48 percent from the three-point line, whereas Cedarville was only at 35.7 percent from deep as a team.
Grant Whisman led the Yellow Jackets’ in scoring, dropping 26 points in his college debut. Junior Isaiah Speelman had 25 points of his own, and Jacob Drees poured in another 23 points.
Drees also led the team in rebounds with 10, which gave him his first double-double of the season.
Unfortunately for Cedarville, the scoring did not extend much beyond those three players, as no other Yellow Jacket had more than seven points.
Cedarville will have a quick turnaround as the team will travel to play Division 1 Akron tomorrow on December 12. Tip-off is set for 2:00 P.M. as the Jackets look for their first win of the new season.
Joshua Decker is a junior Sport Business Management major. He enjoys playing basketball, cheering for the Detroit Lions despite countless losing seasons and watching “National Treasure” over and over again.