By Andrew Spencer
The Cedarville Lady Jackets opened up G-MAC play with a second half explosion that led them to an 85-70 win against Ohio Dominican.
Cedarville stayed resilient after a frustrating first half that ended with them down six points and finished out with a plus 21 score differential in the second half.
“I’m really proud of this team, and I love how their hard work in practice is showing up in games,” Lady Jackets Head Coach Addy Miller said. “Especially in the second half, as during the first four games we would play teams close in the first half and then let the games get away in the second half.”
In the first half, which finished with Ohio Dominican up 37-31, Cedarville struggled to get into a great flow on offense because of some early foul trouble to their key players. However, freshman guard Nyla Hale kept them in the game, and tallied 13 points in the first half alone.
Cedarville found their offensive flow in the second half. That flow allowed them to get out to a 14-5 run which gave them a three point lead, and from that point on the Lady Jackets never looked back. They grew their lead as high as 19 points with 1:10 left in the fourth quarter.
Along with this offensive flow, Cedarville also established its pressure and its full court press. This press made the Panthers very uncomfortable and helped create 14 second half turnovers which led to 21 points. These turnovers crushed Ohio Dominican who had managed to only allow 6 points off turnovers of their own in the first half.
The Lady Jackets also outrebounded the Panthers 32-21, an integral part of the Jackets success.
“We hit our goals today, especially the main one which was to win the rebounding battle as we have struggled with that over the last few games,” Miller said. “Along with that we were also able to hit our goals of getting everyone involved.”
Cedarville was clearly able to hit this goal as the Lady Jackets had three separate players in double figures, along with eight girls in total get the ball in the basket. The three leading scorers were Lydia Sweeney with a game high 25 points, Hale with a career high 19, and junior guard Kat Weakley with 14 points that were all scored in the second half.
“I hope that tonight will be a showing to the girls that if we are able to win the battles in the rebounding, play aggressive defense and spread the ball around. That the wins will come as a result.” Miller said.
“I am very proud of this team and how we played tonight after a tough loss versus Saginaw Valley State,” Sweeney said. “I loved seeing everyone get involved and it always feels good to get a win to start G-MAC play.”
The Lady Jackets are now 2-3 on the season, and after a brief celebration of their win they will start game planning for a G-MAC road test against Thomas More this Saturday, December 2, As they hope to start off the conference season 2-0.
Andrew Spencer is a senior sports business management student and athlete for the Cedarville men’s cross country team. He enjoys watching Michigan State Basketball, wake surfing and running.
Photos by Logan Howard