HANOVER, IND - The Defiance College men's basketball team made the southern trip to HCAC foe Hanover College on Saturday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets saw a high offensive output, allowing them to battle within five points of the Panthers, ultimately falling 77-72.
Defiance got off to a quick start against the defending Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference champions, jumping out to a 9-2 lead. With just under 12 ticks on the clock, the Yellow Jackets were staring at a 21-13 lead over the Panthers via a Tyler Andrew (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central) layup. The Yellow Jackets extended the lead to 31-15 as the first half wound down.
Hanover showed their offensive power as the home side fought back to take the lead into the locker room 45-40.
The sides continued to fight a close contest as neither team found a large lead during the opening minutes of the second period. With just over seven minutes remaining in the contest Sean Tyson (Columbus / Centennial) knocked down a three to cut the Panther lead to five. Coach Scott Cutter's side found their way to the lead as Jordan Maschino (Bradfod / Covington) sunk a layup with 1:20 left in the contest.
Fans in attendance at Hanover's Collier Center were set for a thrilling finish as the Yellow Jackets looked to complete the upset. The Panthers looked to wrap up the win as Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafayette Jefferson) found space for a layup. With just two seconds remaining Defiance looked to earn possession back down three. A pair of free throws solidified the Hanover win.
The narrow loss came with many positives for DC. The conference matchup saw the Purple and Gold tally their highest field goal percentage of the season (42.6), as well as the seasons second highest three-point field goal percentage (39.1).
Offensively, the Yellow Jackets were led by Andrew who contributed his fourth double-digit performance of the year. Jordan and Maschino each broke double-digits as well with 14 and 10 respectively.
Defiance's record now falls to 0-8 with an 0-4 HCAC mark. The Yellow Jackets will have a quick turnaround as they face Spalding University (Kent.) on Monday, Dec. 17 at 4:00 pm.