DEFIANCE, OHIO – The Yellow Jackets fell in an up tempo contest with Greenville University on Saturday evening on day two of the 43rd Annual Purple and Gold Tournament.
Sophomore Jordan Maschino (Bradford/Covington) finished the contest with a double-double recording a career-high 33 points and 16 rebounds earning all-tournament team honors.
The Yellow Jackets (3-8 overall) saw all five starters finish in double digits paced by Maschino. Freshman Kiewuan Graham (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) added a career-best 26 points, while junior Allante Wheeler (Canton, Mich.) and freshman Avion Franklin (Toledo/Whitmer) recorded 20 apiece. Junior Randall Aikins Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) chipped in 19 for the Purple and Gold.
Defiance battled the Greenville tempo early as Aikins navigated the press and found Franklin with 18:14 to play to put DC on top 9-7. The Panthers looked to run away with it as a transition three-pointer with 14:07 to play gave them an eight point advantage, 19-11.
However, the Purple and Gold piloted the pressure as Graham hit a deep ball minutes later to cut the deficit to 28-25. The Yellow Jackets swarmed once more pulling within one as Graham deemed clutch again with a transition jumper with 10:35 to play, 28-27. DC would finally tie the contest moments later as Maschino laid one in down low, 31-31.
Aikins would spark a late run for the Yellow Jackets as he went coast to coast for the score with 7:35 to play, 37-34. The Panthers came running back using their fast style of offense to tie the contest 38-38. The two teams exchanged points for much of the remaining half before a Greenville 7-0 run gave them the 47-40 advantage with five minutes remaining. Defiance kept chipping at the late Greenville lead using a free throw in the final seconds to enter the break trailing 64-63.
The Panthers tried to run away with it early in second half as they drained back-to-back three-pointers to push the Greenville advantage, 70-63. However, the swarm continued for the Yellow Jackets erasing a 12 point deficit over a three minute span to pull within 88-84 with 12:28 remaining. Graham and Wheeler continued to pace the charge for DC sinking back-to-back buckets to cut the advantage to 98-95 with 9:49 to play. The Greenville up tempo defense proved clutch again as they were able to capitalize on a pair of Yellow Jacket turnovers to steal the momentum and claim the win.
The Purple and Gold return to action Wednesday, January 3 as they play host to Anderson, Ind. in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.