DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's basketball team got 20 points and 23 rebounds from senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry), but it wasn't enough as they fell in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup to Hanover College, 79-75, at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Tietje's 23 rebound performance gives her 1,005 rebounds for her career and makes her the third Yellow Jacket in school history to break the 1,000-rebound barrier. Tietje's 23 rebounds were three away from tying her own single-game record and it marked the third time in her career that she has posted 20 or more rebounds.
Defiance finished with four scorers in double figures, led by Tietje's 23 point effort on nine-of-19 shooting (47.3 percent) from the floor. Senior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) added a season-high 18 points on seven-of-11 (63.6 percent) shooting, as well as knocking down three-of-five from beyond the arc.
The difference in the game came in the turnover column, as Defiance committed 22 turnovers, compared to just 11 for the Panthers. Despite the 22 turnovers, Hanover could only turn it into 13 points. DC did win the rebound battle, 52-43, while shooting 43.7 percent (31-of-71) from the floor and six-of-17 (35.3 percent) from deep. Hanover finished the game shooting 36.5 percent (27-of-74) from the floor and six-of-15 (40 percent) from three-point land.
The Yellow Jackets jumped on the Panthers to open the game, scoring nine consecutive points after the Panthers scored the opening bucket to take a 9-2 lead just two minutes in. After the run, Williams added a triple and Tietje layed one in to get the lead to 14-4. Hanover battled back to cut the lead to five points before a jumper from Tietje gave the Yellow Jackets a 22-15 lead after one quarter of play.
Hanover continued to claw its way back into the game and made it a, 23-21, contest at the 7:00 minute mark of the second quarter before sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) scored four straight points that gave the Jackets a, 27-21, margin. Each team would exchange buckets as the lead stayed between four and six points before a layup from Williams and a freebie from Smay gave DC a 34-27 advantage at the half.
Smay opened the second half with another triple to put Defiance ahead by 10 points. Following a Panther bucket, Tietje and Conine added back-to-back scores that resulted in DC's largest lead of the game at 41-29. Hanover rallied again, however, getting the deficit down to, 53-50, with 1:32 left in the third period. But a layup from junior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) and a triple from Williams, gave DC a bit of breathing room with an eight-point advantage. After a bucket from Hanover, Schalk added another deuce to put Defiance ahead, 60-52, through three quarters.
Williams hit another triple to open the final quarter and regained a double-figure lead for DC at 63-52. Hanover battled back to within six points before a bucket by Williams and a free-throw by Tietje made the score, 68-59, with 5:46 to play in favor of DC. Momentum then began to shift from there, as the Panthers chipped away at the DC lead, eventually taking the lead with 1:35 to play on a triple from Maleha Motter. The DC shooting then went cold as the Jackets would not score during the final 1:35 of the game. The Panthers then hit three-of-their-next-four attempts from the free-throw line during that span to seal the 79-75 come-from-behind victory.
Defiance will take a week off before returning to action next Saturday, Dec. 17 for a road HCAC matchup with Mount St. Joseph University. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the DC men's team. The women's game is slated to begin at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.