by Josh Decker
The Cedarville Yellow Jackets fell 94-60 against Division I University of Dayton Monday night in an exhibition game where the Jackets’ outside shots just didn’t seem to find the net.
The exhibition game, played at University of Dayton Arena, gave Cedarville an excellent opportunity to prepare for the upcoming regular season schedule by going up against high-end talent and athleticism. It was also the first full-capacity for Dayton in 603 days, which drew a crowd of over 13,000 to the arena.
“It obviously was a big challenge, but everyone was excited. It’s an awesome environment and a really good test to see where we’re at before the season starts,” said senior Isaiah Speelman.
Sophomore Jayvon Maughmer came off the bench to lead the way offensively for Cedarville, tallying 17 points on 8-12 shooting from the field. Senior Quinton Green dropped 12 points and senior guard Branden Maughmer added 10 while dishing out three assists.
Junior Jacob Drees was active for the Jackets on the glass, pulling in nine boards to lead the team in rebounding.
“Playing Dayton was a good experience for our team to play someone at a high level before we get into the regular season games,” said Drees.
Head coach Pat Estepp was proud of his team’s effort on the court. “We got good looks from three, but we just couldn’t hit shots,” said Estepp. “If we hit shots, that would have been a different game. [But] we kept playing and kept fighting and it shows a lot of character.”
Senior Kollin VanHorn went to work in the paint early, scoring the Jackets’ first points of the night while Branden Maughmer added a layup to keep Cedarville within two at the under-16 media timeout.
Up 6-4, the Flyers began to take control of the contest, extending the lead to 23-10 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the first half, which quickly led to a timeout by Cedarville head coach Pat Estepp.
The Jackets responded with points on three straight possessions, but the deficit was still 28-16 by the second media timeout.
Cedarville managed to get some open looks offensively, but were unable to convert from behind-the-arc, going 0-15 from deep in the first twenty minutes.By halftime, Dayton had cruised out to a 22-point lead, with the Jackets trailing 48-26 going into the locker-room.
Cedarville started the second half with a pair of Branden Maughmer triples followed by Quinton Green’s first 3-pointer of the game to cut into the Dayton lead, but defensively, Cedarville was not able to slow down the Flyers.
At the under-16 media timeout, Cedarville trailed 58-35. An 8-3 Dayton run then stretched the lead to 66-38 before back-to-back triples from Speelman and freshman Brayden Sipple dropped in.
The Flyers continued to keep the visitors at bay, going up 80-48 with eight minutes to play.
While the Jackets continued to fight hard, Dayton’s size and athleticism dominated as they cruised to the 94-60 victory.
Cedarville shot just 38 percent from the field in the game and a disheartening 16 percent from deep. The Jackets did take care of the ball, however, committing only seven turnovers in the contest.
“We got some great looks and had some really good defensive possessions,” said Speelman. “We just need to be consistent once games start.”
The Yellow Jackets will look to learn from the Dayton game as the team turns its attention to the regular season. The first matchup scheduled is in the Midwest Region Crossover against Truman State, which is slated for Nov. 12th at 5 p.m.
Josh Decker is a senior 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.