By Josh Decker
The Cedarville men’s basketball team bounced back from two straight losses with a dominant 89-57 victory over rival Findlay on Monday night.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 11-8 on the season and 7-5 in conference play, including a regular-season sweep of the Oilers.
“We played with a focus and urgency we haven’t seen in our last couple games,” Head Coach Pat Estepp said. “It shows character and I’m really proud of how the guys responded tonight.”
Cedarville built a massive first-half lead behind an onslaught of 3-pointers. Sophomore Grant Whisman led the way in the first half shooting a perfect 4-4 from behind the arc. Whisman finished the night with a season-high 21 points.
“I thought we came out locked in from the start,” said senior guard Quinton Green. “We’ve had a rough couple of games, but I’m proud of how we responded.”
The offensive showcase was the story of the night, but the Jackets came to play on both sides of the ball. Cedarville’s defense played with an intensity that led to steals and transition points for the Jackets.
After shooting a red-hot 54 percent from the field and converting 10-15 from deep, the Yellow Jackets took a commanding 47-22 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, Cedarville continued to pour it on offensively and locked up defensively. The home crowd erupted after Branden Maughmer poked the ball away from the dribbler, and tossed the ball ahead to his brother Jayvon for a slam dunk.
Cedarville reached its largest lead of the game, which was 36 points, with just over twelve minutes left to play.
Cedarville coasted in the final few minutes off the half and polished off the 89-57 victory, a lead comfortable enough for Coach Estepp to empty his bench.
The Jackets ended the night shooting an even 50 percent from the floor and a staggering 49 percent from the three-point range.
“I thought our defense and rebounding were big keys for us,” Estepp said. “We shot really well, but I think that was largely due to how well we shared the ball.”
Up next for the Jackets is a home matchup against Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday, February 3rd. Tip-off from the Callan Athletic Center is set for 7:45 P.M.
Josh Decker is a senior Sports 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.