By Alan Brads
The Cedarville Lady Jackets faltered against Ohio Christian University in a 79-75 loss.
Cedarville fell to 2-5 on the season, while the Trailblazers, who compete in the NAIA, improved to 6-2.
Cedarville led the first 37 minutes of the game, but failed to put the game out of reach, never taking a double digit lead, which came back to bite them.
OCU’s Ashley Deweese buried a triple with 3:23 to play to tie the game at 63, and with 2:44 left the Trailblazers captured their first lead of the night, a lead they would never relinquish.
“At the end of the day you gotta find a way,” Cedarville Head Coach Addy Miller said. “No matter if it’s good, no matter if it’s ugly, you gotta find a way to win, and that’s what we didn’t do tonight.”
Deweese led the Trailblazers with eight assists, and tacked on 18 points including 3-4 shooting from deep. She never left the floor. Emma Koons and Haley Cox rounded out the Trailblazer offense, scoring 19 points each.
Lydia Sweeney led the Jackets with 31 points on 12-20 shooting, and Nyla Hale and Kat Weakley each scored 14. Sweeney led a reverse-comeback attempt in the last 25 seconds of the game, burying two corner threes within 14 seconds.
But when the Jackets fouled still down two and OCU missed both free throws, JoLeigh Hamilton came down with a clutch offensive rebound, and sealed the deal by hitting both free throws to push the lead to four with only three seconds left.
Both teams’ energies looked sporadic, electric at one moment, sleepy the next. OCU just found a way to get hot when it mattered most.
“I didn’t feel like we had the energy at all,” Miller said. “Maybe a little bit in the third quarter, but that has to be consistent.”
Cedarville pressed on defense all night, and usually when they got a spark, it came from forcing a turnover, they did it no less than 20 times. But in between energy surges they had sloppy moments too, returning the favor with 20 turnovers of their own.
The Yellow Jackets play twice before a two-week hiatus for Christmas break, starting with a chance to bounce back against conference foe Tiffin at home next Wednesday, December 13.
“You try a lot of different things, whether that’s how practice is run, what you add, what you take away, and you hope that it works.” Miller said. “That’s what we’re gonna try to do next, anything and everything we can to try to help this team and find a way to make them successful.”
Alan Brads is a senior journalism student and sports editor for Cedars. He enjoys playing the drums, speaking Spanish and watching Buckeye football like his life depends on it.
Photo by Logan Howard