BLUFFTON, OHIO – The Defiance College men's basketball team fell to the Bluffton University Beavers, 75-47, on Wednesday night in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action.
The Yellow Jackets (3-11, 2-5 HCAC) were led in scoring by junior Randall Aikins Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth), who scored 10 points in the loss.
Defiance struggled from the field all night, shooting just 18-of-60 (30 percent) on the contest and 4-of-23 (17.4 percent) from beyond the arc. The Beavers (6-8, 3-4 HCAC) also handled business on the glass with a 51-37 lead in rebounds.
Bluffton got out to an early 9-6 led before a three-pointer from Avion Franklin (Toledo/Whitmer) knotted the game at 9-9. The teams exchanged the next four baskets, keeping the score tied when Franklin hit his second triple of the night, this one giving DC a 16-13 lead at the 8:21 mark. Bluffton split a pair of free throws before freshman Elijah Pennington (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike) hit his two free throws to grow the lead to four points. The Beavers took control from there, scoring the next 15 points to take a 29-18 lead with 2:27 to play in the half. Defiance was able to cut the lead to eight points on a bucket to end the half from junior Jovon Thomason (Port Huron) to make it a 30-22 game at the break.
The Beavers scored the opening bucket of the second half, but DC got a three-ball from freshman Allante Wheeler (Canton, Mich.) to cut the deficit to seven points. The home team grew the lead to 11 points, but consecutive buckets from Pennington and Aikins saw the game get back to within seven points, 36-29. The Beavers put away the Yellow Jackets by scoring 14 straight points from there, growing their lead to 21 points, as they ultimately pulled off a 75-47 victory over DC.
Bluffton finished with five players in double figures, led by Kevin Christie, who scored 18 points with six rebounds and six assists in their victory.
The Yellow Jackets return home to the Karl H. Weaner Center for an HCAC matchup with the Mount St. Joseph University Lions on Saturday, Jan. 13. That matchup is set to tip at 3 p.m.