by Josh Decker
The Cedarville University Lady Jackets kept the winning streak alive by defeating the visiting Hillsdale Chargers 83-63 Thursday night at the Callan Athletic Center. The win was the Jackets’ eighth straight, taking them to 8-1 and keeping them at the top of the G-MAC standings. Cedarville was rolling off of the momentum from their solid road victory over Kentucky Wesleyan that snapped the Panthers’ 37 home game winning streak.
Both the Lady Jackets and the Chargers were ice cold from the field to begin the game, as each team started off 1-8 from the floor.
The lack of offense for Cedarville was short-lived, however. The Lady Jackets stepped up defensively and exploded from the floor following the slow start, jumping out to a 49-28 lead and taking a 21-point advantage into the half.
Nine players scored for Cedarville in the first half, led by the trio of junior Allison Mader, sophomore Abby Freeman and sophomore Isabelle Bolender, who each contributed 9 points in the first half.
Cedarville also took a clear advantage over the Chargers in points off the bench, getting 21 points compared to only seven for Hillsdale.
The Lady Jackets ended the first half shooting 45 percent from the field and 50 percent from 3-point range. Cedarville also forced eight turnovers in the half, and limited Hillsdale to only 27 percent shooting from the floor.
Hillsdale set the pace of the game coming out in the third quarter, cutting into Cedarville’s lead.
Cedarville responded to the surge by the Chargers and continued to pour on the offense, finishing with at least 79 points for the ninth straight game.
Five Lady Jackets finished the game in double figures as Cedarville out-shot and out-played Hillsdale.
Bolender paced the Lady Jackets scoring, dropping 13 points in the contest. Freeman finished with a career-high 11 points, and both Mader and senior Ashlyn Huffman tallied 11 points.
All 11 Cedarville players saw playing time, and eight contributed at least one 3-pointer in the game.
The Lady Jackets shot 40 percent from the field as a team, and converted twelve 3-pointers while shooting 38 percent from deep.
Cedarville’s defense stepped up and limited the Chargers’ shooting to 33 percent as a team.
Cedarville also converted 15 Hillsdale turnovers into 15 points, and only committed seven turnovers throughout the course of the game.
A slight advantage on the boards favored Cedarville, with the Lady Jackets pulling in 50 rebounds to Hillsdale’s 43.
Cedarville’s next game is a home contest scheduled for Saturday, January 16th against Ohio Dominican. The Lady Jackets will look to continue the momentum and extend the winning streak to nine in the face-off against the Panthers Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
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.