by Abigail Hintz
The No. 1 seed Lady Jackets (19-4) took down No. 8 Malone (9-12) in the first round of the G-MAC tournament 70-55 and now head to the semifinals this Friday. This was the third time the two teams had met this season, with Cedarville taking all three meetings.
The Lady Jackets were led by sophomore Isabelle Bolender with 17 points and seven rebounds. Junior Allison Mader had a big night with 16 points and freshman Anne Wheeler had 12.
Cedarville didn’t have a great night of shooting by their own standards, going 25-60 from the field and 9-24 from deep.
The teams came out in tournament-worthy style. In just five minutes the two teams combined nearly evenly for 21 points with Malone taking the one-point edge. Allison Mader had a solid game early contributing seven points in the first quarter. The Jackets trailed Malone 20-18 at the end of the first quarter.
Senior Stevie Johnting gave the Jackets an edge to start the second quarter with a shot from deep that put them up 21-20. The Jackets went on a four-point run to extend their lead to 28-22. Scoring stalled for several minutes until Malone was able to contribute again, but the Jackets were looking more settled. They were the first to 30 with a six-point lead.
Cedarville’s defense was sharp, scoring eight points off of turnovers in the first half. The Jackets were feeling the momentum and went up 36-28 by halftime. Mader continued to lead with 11 points, followed by Bolender with seven. Junior Lexi Moore had six rebounds by halftime.
Mader was not slowing down coming into the second half, opening the Cedarville scoring with her third triple and taking the Jackets to a 10 point lead, 39-29. A big triple from Johnting gave the Jackets some serious momentum halfway through the third quarter as it took them up to a huge lead of 44-31. Malone had a short burst to finish out the quarter and lessen the gap, but the Jackets were still up 50-40 at the end of the third. Mader had 14 points at the end of the quarter.
The Lady Jackets didn’t hold back in the fourth quarter, adding 20 points to their total. They were feeling the excitement of heading to the final four as Malone was no longer in sight. Wheeler dropped back-to-back triples in the last two plays of the game to round out the victory 70-55.
Cedarville now turns their attention to the semifinals where they will take on Tiffin University in the Callan Athletic Center at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 5. The Jackets are 1-1 against Tiffin this season, defeating them 79-65 in early January and falling to the Dragons 83-70 in early February.
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.