by Evan Kakuk
The Lady Jackets (17-3) received their first loss at home and third overall from a tough Kentucky Wesleyan Panthers (13-4) team in a close battle for the top spot in the G-MAC conference, with a final score of 89-84. The game was close the entire time, especially in the final quarter, where the teams traded the lead seven times in the last five minutes of the game.Cedarville had three players in double digit scoring this game. Junior Emily Chapman and sophomore Isabelle Bolender each with 19 points, and senior Ashlyn Huffman with 18 points. The next two highest scorers for the Jackets were sophomore Paige Garr with nine points and junior Lexi Moore with seven points. Huffman led Cedarville in rebounds with 5, and Garr, Huffman and Chapman all shared the lead in assists with three each.
The Jackets looked like they had maintained control for the entire first half. Much of this control can be credited to Bolender’s 16 points in the first half. Cedarville led by 10 at the half with a score of 49-39.
Going into the third quarter, Cedarville looked as dominant as they did in the first half. Cedarville went on an eight-point run in the first two minutes of the quarter, with five of those points being scored by Moore. The Jackets led at the end of the third quarter by eight at 66-58.
At the start of the final quarter, the Panthers set the tone of the quarter by scoring with a 3-pointer to cut their deficit to five points. The Jackets and the Panthers traded scores until Cedarville led by eight with a Bolender 3-pointer. The Panthers proceeded to go on a seven-point run to cut their deficit to one. They would proceed to take the lead at the five-minute mark, but not before a field goal and free throw from freshman Anne Wheeler.
After losing their lead at the five-minute mark, the Jackets would then retake and lose it a total of three times before finally giving it up for good with just under two minutes left in the game. The score at the time was 81-80, Panther’s lead. Cedarville fouled to get the ball back, but it wasn’t enough to win them the game. The Panthers won the game with a final score of 89-84.The Panthers won the rebound game as well, with 40 boards compared to Cedarville’s 26. The Panther’s bench outscored the Jacket’s bench by 30 points at 48 versus 18. However, they also had more turnovers than Cedarville at 12 versus nine. But the extra turnovers were not enough to lose the game to the Jackets.
The Jackets may have lost the game, but it was a well-played game on their part. Other than the bench points and rebounds, Cedarville played the Panthers very closely, maintaining the lead until late in the game, and even after losing it, they fought hard to regain it.
Despite the loss, the Jackets remain at the top of the G-MAC standings. Cedarville will look to regain their winning momentum with a home game against the Walsh Cavaliers on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. for senior night.
Evan Kakuk is a sophomore Professional Writing and Information Design major. He enjoys running, weightlifting, and playing Wii with his friends.