by Abigail Hintz
There is no end in sight for the Cedarville women’s basketball team’s success. The Lady Jackets pulled out a dominate 84-52 win over visiting Ohio Valley (0-9) Thursday night despite a wary first half performance. The team proved they can pull together and fix what needs fixed in the second half and deservingly gained their 15th straight win.
This was the Lady Jackets’ first game after being ranked ninth in the first WBCA NCAA Division II Coaches Poll of the season. It is the highest ranking the team has received since entering NCAA Division II in 2012.The Jackets were once again led by sophomore Isabelle Bolender with 17 points, followed by senior Ashlyn Huffman with 13 points. Junior Lexi Moore dominated the boards with 11 rebounds. Sophomore Allie Marshall wasn’t far behind with nine. Both were career-highs for the players. Junior Emily Chapman contributed nine points in the second half and a team-high five assists.
Cedarville was up 7-0 less than a minute into the first quarter. However the first quarter as a whole was rather slow paced on both sides. The whistle kept getting blown for Jacket fouls that were costing them possession.
Ohio Valley was persistent and the Jackets offense was slow to produce. The Fighting Scots got within one point towards the end of the quarter causing head coach Kari Hoffman to make some lineup changes. The changes seemed to be what the Jackets needed and they went up 22-16 to finish out the first quarter.
Cedarville dominated the boards early, significantly out performing the Fighting Scots. However, they were only shooting at 25 percent halfway through the second quarter while Ohio Valley was shooting 50 percent. 3-pointers and free throws were the only things allowing the Jackets to keep the lead.
It was a narrow lead at that. With four minutes left in the half the Jackets were up by just four points. Bolender reentered the lineup at that point and added some much needed energy. Marshall made a big play off of an offensive rebound that gave Cedarville some more momentum.
The game became much faster at this point but still the Jackets could not pull away. A quick run at the end gave them a little breathing room headed into the locker room as they went up 38-30. Bolender had 12 points at the half and Moore had contributed a clutch 8 rebounds, almost double her game average in just the first half.The second half began looking more promising for the Jackets. Junior Emily Chapman, a vital part of the Jacket offense, got points on the board for the first time early in the half. She contributed six just four minutes in.
Overall the Lady Jackets were fighting and showing much more aggression than they had in the first half. Their 3-point production was also a game-changer. They scored four in the first five minutes of the second half compared to just two in the entire first half. The Jackets got to their biggest lead of the game coming out of the locker room up 51-35. They ended the third quarter up 59-45.
The fourth quarter was all Cedarville. With five minutes to play the Jackets were up 75-48 and Hoffman put in her bench. Marshall led the way late in the fourth with three points and two rebounds.
The Lady Jackets now take to the road to travel to Tiffin for a 1 p.m. tip off on Saturday. Cedarville handled Tiffin 79-65 in early January.
Abigail Hintz is a junior Journalism major and the Sports and Digital Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.