By Josh Decker
Cedarville men’s basketball took the court and dominated Kentucky Wesleyan 83-51 on Thursday afternoon in the Jackets’ second straight victory.
The game is Cedarville’s second consecutive win by a margin of 32 points as the home team drilled a season-high 15 three-pointers. The Yellow Jackets now sit at 12-8 overall this season and 8-5 in G-MAC play.
Senior Quinton Green paced the Cedarville offense, dropping in 21 points on 7-11 shooting from the field and 5-9 from behind-the-arc.
Isaiah Speelman was an efficient 4-6 from the floor, finishing with 12 points, and Branden Maughmer contributed 11 points to go with five rebounds and team-high five assists.
“We’re really excited about how we are playing right now,” Speelman said. “Everyone has bought in and just been so selfless. We’re guarding, rebounding, and playing fast.”
The Jackets exploded to a 12-4 advantage by the first media timeout of the half, and with just under 12 minutes to play, the lead was 22-8 Cedarville.
The Yellow Jackets’ hot-shooting streak was sparked by the host’s efficiency from three-point range.
Three straight triples put the Jackets in front 35-16 with 6:48 left on the clock.
Cedarville closed out the first twenty minutes having connected on 9-13 from deep for an impressive 69% and 62% from the field.
With the defense stepping up and getting stops on the other end of the court, the Jackets went into halftime with a controlling 45-28 advantage.
Cedarville came out of the break firing offensively, jumping out to a 25-point lead off an 8-0 run to start the second half.
A Kentucky Wesleyan timeout attempted to halt the momentum for the Jackets, but Speelman rattled off three straight baskets to keep the visitors at bay.
The advantage had ballooned into a 71-36 difference with just under eight minutes remaining as Cedarville continued to spread the ball around on offense and control the pace of the game.
The Jackets rode out the final few minutes of play as Cedarville cruised to the 83-51 victory.
The Yellow Jackets ended the day shooting 50% from the floor and a red-hot 15-28 from behind-the-arc.
Cedarville edged out the Panthers on the glass 40-38 and dished out an impressive 20 assists.
The defense stepped up and held Kentucky Wesleyan to 33 percent shooting in the game, the lowest mark by an opponent this season.
“I thought our guys kept their defensive focus today, and that tone set the tone for us,” head coach Pat Estepp said. “I’m proud of our guys’ effort. We shot it well and did a really good job of getting each other shots.”
The Jackets will continue the homestand with a rematch against Trevecca on Saturday, February 5th. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:15 P.M. from the Callan Athletic Center.
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.