CU teams close 2016 with losses

Greene County News Report

CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams closed 2016 with non-conference losses Dec. 30.

The men lost, 88-86, at home to Lake Erie, while the women lost, 77-59, to Wayne State in Detroit.

In the men’s game, Lake Erie shot 64 percent and held off a furious Cedarville rally. The Storm built an 84-74 lead with 2:13 left. The Yellow Jackets charged back and had the game’s final possession, but misfired from close range as time expired.

Lake Erie (2-12) snapped a four-game skid with a season-best shooting performance from the field. Its 12 three-point field goals were also a season-high.

Cedarville (5-7) made 57 percent of its shots – also a season-high. In the second half, the Yellow Jackets shot 61 percent to go along with a 9-for-10 shooting at the free throw line.

Patrick Bain and J.C. Faubion scored 20 points apiece. Easton Bazzoli came off the bench with 15 points and Robert Okoro chipped in 13.

“Give credit to Lake Erie,” Coach Pat Estepp said. “They stepped up and made plays all game. They shot better than we had seen them shoot all season. Some of that has to be attributed to their kids stepping up and making plays. Some of that is attributed to our lack of defense. We don’t defend and that’s on the head coach. So, we will continue to address it and do what I have to do to find guys that will put a priority on defending and rebounding.”

The win the first against CU in seven games for the Storm, which joins the Great Midwest Athletic Conference during the 2017-18 academic year.

Cedarville hosts Trevecca 7:45 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

In the women’s game, Wayne State took control in the second half after leading, 33-29, at halftime. The Warriors (5-7) outscored Cedarville, 44-30, over the final 20 minutes.

“Give credit to Wayne State, but I truly believe we beat ourselves for the most part today,” Coach Kari Hoffman said. “When you throw away 26 turnovers in a college basketball game, it’s hard to overcome that. Half of those turnovers led to 18 fast-break points for them as well. That was the difference in the game. We needed a whole lot more toughness tonight and that was blatantly clear. I’m proud of Bre (Watterworth), who played aggressive and confident again.”

Watterworth racked up game-highs of 22 points and nine rebounds to pace 6-5 Cedarville. The 6-foot-3 junior center was the only Lady Jacket to score in double figures. Baylee Bennett chipped in eight points while Regina Hochstetler had seven points and five assists.

CU won the rebound battle, 38-33, and has outrebounded seven of its last eight opponents.

Cedarville hosts Trevecca 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 5.

Greene County News report compiled by Scott Halasz.

Greene County News report compiled by Scott Halasz.