Top-Seeded Cedarville Ends Urbana's Run
CEDARVILLE, Ohio (March 3, 2012) - The Cedarville University women's basketball team won the 2012 D-II Ohio Independents' Championship on Saturday night on their home floor. The top-seeded Yellow Jackets held off third-seeded Urbana University 73-63 for the title.
In a matchup of former and future conference foes, the Yellow Jackets grabbed a 39-29 halftime lead behind 45% shooting. Urbana struggled with early turnovers, and the Blue Knights failed to dial in from deep in the first half. Through the first 20 minutes, UU racked up 14 turnovers and hit on just 2 of 12 from downtown.
Cedarville started to pull away late in the second half. The home team's lead reached as many as 18 before the Blue Knights got hot from behind the arc. Three straight threes, two from freshman Ciara Geiger and another from freshman Katy Barkley, drew Urbana within 8 at 59-51 with five minutes to play. Another Barkley three with exactly three minutes to play kept Cedarville's lead to single digits, but time ran out as the teams traded baskets. Cedarville also aided their cause with a 23 for 24 (96%) performance at the free throw line.
In the loss, Urbana was led by All-OIC performers Geiger and DeVonyea Johnson. Geiger had 15. Johnson totaled 14. Barkley also poured in 15. Junior Andrea Vogel maintained her national lead in blocked shots, swatting away 5 Yellow Jacket attempts. Vogel also had 9 points and 9 boards. Fellow junior Jessica Saffold led all rebounders with 13.
The win is Cedarville's tenth straight. The Yellow Jackets (21-7) finished 13-1 vs. OIC opponents. Their only loss came to Urbana in Cedarville back on January 28th. The Blue Knights and Yellow Jackets will continue their rivalry next season as charter members of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC), a new NCAA D-II conference.
Urbana ends it year with an OIC runner-up finish and a 14-15 record. After a 2-8 start, the Blue Knights finished 12-7 behind new Head Coach Maria Marchesano, who took over the program during the holiday break. With no seniors on the roster, Urbana returns its full roster for G-MAC play under Marchesano in 2012-13. [Box Score]