DEFIANCE, OHIO - The Defiance College men's basketball team wrapped up day one of the 2018 Purple & Gold Tournament on Friday evening. The Yellow Jackets defeated Geneva College in a tight contest, 67-66.
Sharp shooting from beyond the arc propelled DC over the visiting Golden Tornadoes. Leading the charge for the Purple and Gold was senior Noah Goodrich (Oregon / Genoa). Shooting 6-9 (66.7%) from deep, the Oregon, Ohio native tallied a team-high 21 points in the contest.
Play began with Geneva jumping out to a 10-2 lead before Defiance began battling back. A Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafayette Jefferson) layup kick-started an eight point run to even the contest with 12 minutes remaining in the half.
As the two sides battled deep into the first half, neither could pull away with a distinct advantage. With a 31-30 Golden Tornado lead, Goodrich knocked down his only three-pointer of the half with just 44 seconds remaining. Coach Scott Cutter's team headed to the locker room with a 33-32 lead.
It did not take long for the Yellow Jackets to get the large crowd on their feet, a Devin Goodwyn (Detroit, Mich. / Chippewa Valley) three-pointer just 27 seconds into the half had the Jackets rolling with some momentum. The sides continued to battle neck-and-neck, swapping leads a handful of times.
With 9:03 remaining in the contest the Yellow Jackets opened up a nine point lead via another Goodrich three. The Golden Tornadoes were not falling behind easily as they battle to within one late in the contest.
Fans were treated to nail-biting worthy action as with 10 ticks on the clock, Geneva looked poised to hold for the last shot. With three seconds left the Tornadoes guard drove into the lane looking for space. Met by a wall of Yellow Jacket defenders, Geneva was unable to get a clean shot away as Tyler Andrew (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central) grabbed the loose ball and held on for the thrilling win.
The win solidifies Defiance's place in the championship game of the 44th Annual Purple & Gold Tournament. The Yellow Jackets will take on Penn St. Behrend at 3:00 pm on Dec. 29th. The Lions defeated Heidelberg, 77-62 in the first matchup of the day.
The Yellow Jacket record now stands at 2-8 on the season, while remaining 0-4 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.