CEDARVILLE — The on again, off again three-point shooting of Cedarville was on again.
Really, really on.
The Yellow Jackets shot 63.2 percent from long range, including a sizzling 83.3 percent in the second half, en route to a surprisingly easy 98-72 win over Greene County rival Central State Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Averaging just seven makes a game, the host Yellow Jackets (8-11) made that many three-pointers in the first half, building a 49-31 halftime lead, and coasting to their third straight over the Marauders, while scoring a season-high in points.
Patrick Bain led the slick-shooting Yellow Jackets with 20 points, while J.C Faubion added 18 and Robert Okoro 16. Joey Morlan and Kwenton Scott each had 12. Cedarville had 23 assists on 39 makes.
“Really, really proud of our ball movement,” Cedarville Coach Pat Estepp said. “We’re getting each other shots. We’re going to shoot a higher percentage when you get assisted shots.”
Dwight Richards Jr., led CSU (7-13) with 31 points points — his second-straight 31-point effort — while Markese McGuire added 14, and Frank Barber III 10.
The Marauders weren’t horrible on offense. They shot 43.1 percent — a tad higher then their average. But there simply was no defending the Yellow Jackets, who had the inside-outside game working, outscoring Central State 46-32 in the paint in addition to the three-point prowess.
“They were on all cylinders tonight,” Central State Coach Joseph Price said of Cedarville. “They have great shooters. We just didn’t come out with the focus we needed. We didn’t come here to compete.”
Cedarville jumped out to a quick 14-2 lead five minutes into the game, making six of its first eight shots including three-pointers by Bain and Justice Montgomery. Richard tried to keep the Marauders close, scoring Central State’s first nine points and 11 of its first 16 as the Marauders were able to trim the lead to 25-18 midway through the half.
The Yellow Jackets answered with a 17-6 run to open a 42-24 lead at the under four media timeout. The Cedarville lead was in the 20s throughout the second half and reached 30 with 51 seconds left.
Cedarville has won three straight after ending a seven-game losing streak and appears to be peaking at the right time.
“What’s really been helping is chemistry,” Montgomery said. “We’re knowing where people are at.”
Central State, meanwhile, has won three of its last five after a seven-game losing streak. Not to make excuses, Price said it was difficult to get the intensity level to where it was Jan. 21, a 118-80 win over rival Kentucky State.
“We’ve got to regroup and get ready,” said Price, who starred at Notre Dame in the mid ’80s. “We just didn’t play good enough.”
The Yellow Jackets host Malone Thursday, Jan. 26, while Central State hosts Lane College Thursday, Feb. 2.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.