by Abigail Hintz
Cedarville faced their biggest test on Saturday afternoon taking on G-MAC opponent No. 11 Ashland, but were unable to make it happen, falling 79-52 in their first big loss of the season. The Lady Jackets are now 4-2 on the season and 1-1 in the G-MAC.
The Jackets were led by senior Emily Chapman with 16 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Lydia Sweeney stepped up with 12 points and senior Allison Mader had a solid all-around performance with eight points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Cedarville and Ashland were matched in shots put up, but Cedarville shot just 30.2 percent from the field while the Eagles shot an impressive 50.8 percent. From deep Ashland was shooting 9-13 compared to Cedarville’s 5-15.
Other than shooting Cedarville just couldn’t keep up with Ashland’s rebounding. The Eagles outrebounded the Jackets 46-29.
Ashland took an early 8-3 lead halfway through the first half before the Jackets saw yet another injury when Bolender was taken off early and was unable to return to the game. Without Bolender, the Jackets were missing two starters and one bench player with Makenna Fee and Anne Wheeler still out with injury.
“Losing Ise in the first half, I think emotionally our girls were a little distraught and never totally recovered from that,” said head coach Jason Smith. He acknowledged that having girls playing out of position in such a big game was far from ideal.
Sweeney gave the Jackets a boost with a triple heading into the first media timeout, but even early Cedarville knew they had their work cut out for them.
Coming out of the timeout Chapman came up with a big three-point play to give the Jackets a 9-8 lead, but Ashland answered with three back-to-back triples to go up 17-9 with three minutes to play in the first quarter. The Jackets were never able to come back from that run.
Sweeney stopped the run with a great drive under the basket but Ashland was too consistent on offense. The Jackets were down 24-13 by the end of the first quarter.
The Eagles played their game from deep and were outrebounding the Jackets on offense and shooting much more consistently.
The teams stayed locked for the first half of the second quarter and the Jackets made up a little bit of ground but were unable to go on runs long enough to get themselves out of the hole. They went on a late run thanks in part to a five-point run by Chapman and ended up tying the quarter 14-14, but were still down 38-27 at the end of the first half.
Ashland’s biggest advantage was crashing the boards, especially on defense, up 22-14 to the Jackets. Chapman was leading the Jackets at the end of the first half with 11 points and four rebounds. Mader had six points and four rebounds but was making a big impact on the floor.
Cedarville came out of the locker room with a new energy and cut the lead to 42-34 in the first three minutes. Ashland kept pulling ahead but the Jacket’s offense was working in a new way early in the quarter.
Things fell apart about halfway through and the Jackets looked like they had run out of steam. Ashland ended up winning the quarter 20-15 and they were up 58-42.
Cedarville was wiped even at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Ashland held them scoreless for the first two and a half minutes and went on a six-point run, up 64-42.
The Eagles just kept running it up while Cedarville had nothing left in them. They won the quarter 21-10 and took the game 79-52.
“[Ashland] was exposing a lot of our weaknesses due to our injuries, and they took advantage,” said Smith. “I think our girls hung in there, we just couldn’t string some baskets together.”
Cedarville now turns their attention to Thursday and Saturday for their last two G-MAC games of the year. Thursday they travel to Findlay for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.
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.