by Abigail Hintz
The Cedarville women’s basketball team opened their 2021-22 campaign with a bang Friday night as they took down the Lake Superior State University Lakers 88-37. Senior Isabelle Bolender led the Lady Jackets and began her senior year in style with an impressive performance, putting up 20 points on 11 attempts, all but two of which were made in the first half.
Cedarville’s playing style under new head coach Jason Smith seemed to rely less on points from deep compared to recent years. The Jackets went 6-24 from the arc. From the field Cedarville was 38-78. It was a well-rounded performance as the Jackets had 15 steals and 28 points off of turnovers.
Bolender was followed in point totals by senior Allison Mader, sophomore Anne Wheeler and freshman Taylor Strock with eight apiece.
It was over two minutes before either team put one in, but Bolender finally drove to the basket for a layup to get the Lady Jackets on the board first. The next two offensive plays were both drives to the basket by Bolender and she soon had her team up 6-2 all on her own.
The Jackets had clear control of the game but made a big move towards a solid lead thanks to a 3-point play by Chapman that put them up 15-1 with three minutes to play in the first quarter.
The Lakers went on a four-point run to round out the quarter but the Jackets still held a big lead to start the second 17-9. Bolender had 10 points in the first quarter, but the Jackets had yet to put down a 3-pointer despite five attempts.
Bolender and Chapman combined to put the Jackets up 25-11 to start the second quarter. The team’s defensive rebounding definitely improved in the second quarter and their offense didn’t stop rolling. Cedarville was beginning to shut down the Lakers’ offense completely with seven steals in the second quarter and forcing nine turnovers. Bolender had 18 points at the end of the half, followed by Chapman with eight and Mader with seven.
Mader had a strong start to the second half offensively and defensively, doubling her point total in the first three minutes. Bolender was quieter in the third quarter before Smith switched up the lineup to get a new dynamic on the court given the Jackets had more than doubled their lead halfway through the third, 52-24. They rounded out the third quarter up 65-27 with a more well-rounded performance.
The fourth quarter had a sloppy start as the Jackets’ changed lineup was slow to find their groove. They settled in and but won the quarter 23-10.
“Wins are just the result of executing the preparation,” said Smith. “I was pleased and really proud of our team for doing some things we’ve really talked about recently in practice.”
The Jackets have a quick turnaround as they take on the University of Southern Indiana Saturday at 4:15 p.m. in their second game of the Midwest Region Crossover.
Abigail Hintz is a senior Journalism major and the Editor-in-chief and Sports Editor for Cedars. She loves reading, playing Spikeball with her friends and watching soccer 24/7.