by Josh Decker
The Yellow Jackets stretched the win streak to three games with another G-MAC win Saturday afternoon over Lake Erie on the road, coming away with an 80-71 victory in overtime. The Jackets are now 4-2 overall in the conference.
Senior Conner TenHove and junior Branden Maughmer paced the offense for Cedarville, each scoring 22 points in the matchup. TenHove pulled in nine rebounds and Maughmer grabbed eight.
“I felt like we played well as a whole,” said Maughmer about the team’s performance. “We did a good job of creating our own energy, and that can be hard at times in an empty gym.”
In the first half, both teams struggled from the field offensively. The Yellow Jackets and the Storm both shot 34 percent from the field in the half, and Cedarville managed to take a 33-28 edge into the locker room.
Cedarville was only 24 percent from downtown in the first half, but did manage to get 14 points in the paint.
Branden Maughmer and Conner TenHove led the Yellow Jackets’ first half scoring, each dropping eight points. Freshman Grant Whisman was right behind Maughmer and TenHove with seven points.
Both Cedarville and Lake Erie took care of the ball in the first half, with each team only committing three turnovers. Cedarville did control the glass, however, outrebounding the Storm 29-22.
The Yellow Jackets came out of the break with a press on defense, and went on a 8-2 run in the first three and a half minutes, which stretched the lead to nine with the score at 41-30.
The two teams then traded baskets for a few possessions before Lake Erie went on a run and trimmed the Yellow Jacket lead to three with just under eight minutes to play.
Cedarville was unable to add to the lead, and Lake Erie hung around with Cedarville, cutting the deficit to 60-58 and only trailing by 2 points with two and a half minutes left in the game.
Cedarville was still up two points with less than 40 seconds to go when Branden Maughmer was fouled and went to the line for a 1-and-1. He missed the free throw, and Lake Erie got fouled on the other end of the court before hitting two free throws of their own to tie the game.
Cedarville had one last chance to win the game in regulation as both Branden Maughmer and Conner TenHove had shot opportunities in the paint, but neither was able to get a basket, sending the game into overtime with the score knotted at 66.
TenHove hit the first shot of the overtime period a minute and a half in before Jacob Drees nailed another triple to give Cedarville a 72-66 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets then calmly hit their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Maughmer credited the Jackets’ defensive rebounding adjustments as a key reason why Cedarville dominated the overtime period.
“We had control of the game in overtime from the tip once we fixed our rebounding issues,” explained Maughmer.
After lighting it up from 3-point range against Ohio Dominican on Thursday night, Cedarville only shot 30 percent from deep while shooting 39 percent shooting from the field as a team. Cedarville did shoot an exceptional 86 percent from the free throw line in the game, which played a key part in the victory.
In addition to TenHove and Maughmer scoring 22 points each, Quinton Green poured in 17 points to go with seven boards, and Isaiah Speelman and Grant Whisman both finished with seven points.
Cedarville finished the game plus one on the rebound margin, pulling in 49 boards to Lake Erie’s 48. Cedarville did commit 13 turnovers in the game, but forced the Storm to turn the ball over 14 times.
The Yellow Jackets will have a quick turnaround as the team faces off against Lake Erie again on Monday, January 25th, this time at home in the Callan Athletic Center. Tip-off for is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. as Cedarville looks for its fifth G-MAC victory of the season.
Josh Decker is a junior Sport Business Management major, and a sports reporter for Cedars. He loves playing sports with friends, and spends much of his free time as a student assistant for the Cedarville men’s basketball team.