TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- The Defiance College women's basketball team was outscored, 19-7, in the final quarter of action as they fell to the Rose-Hulman (Ind.) Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers, 55-42, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest in Terre Haute, Ind.
Defiance (7-8, 4-4 HCAC) had just one lone scorer in double figures, as senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) led the charge with 17 points on five-of-12 shooting (41.7 percent) from the floor, while also grabbing 18 rebounds. Senior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) and junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) each added eight points apiece, while senior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) chipped in with seven markers.
The Engineer gameplan of slowing the game down worked, as Defiance shot just 14-of-41 (34.1 percent) from the floor, while RHIT shot 21-of-59 (35.6 percent) Defiance also committed 29 turnovers, compared to just 13 for Rose-Hulman.
The Yellow Jackets came out of the gates with a hot start, taking a 12-2 lead with 3:47 to play in the first quarter, including five points from Smay. RHIT responded with a 10-0 spurt of its own to tie the contest at 12-12. Each team exchanged three-point plays to end the first stanza to make it a 15-15 draw.
Rose-Hulman took a brief four-point lead to begin the second quarter, but two quick buckets from Tietje tied the contest back up at 19-19. RHIT went back ahead, 23-19, when a Tietje deuce and a White triple gave DC a 24-23 lead. But the Engineers scored the last basket of the half to take a 25-24 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter saw five lead changes in total, as neither team took a lead of more than three points. With the Engineers holding a 33-30 lead at the 2:50 mark, Conine fired in a three-pointer to tie it and added two free-throws just 30 seconds later to give DC a 35-33 advantage. The period ended with three straight markers from the home team that gave them a 36-35 lead heading into the final quarter.
Tietje and Conine dropped in back-to-back buckets to give DC a 39-36 lead a minute into the fourth frame. The Engineers then separated themselves from there, going on a 13-1 run to pull away and take a 49-40 lead with four minutes left. Defiance never recovered from the scoring run as Rose-Hulman went on for a 55-42 win.
Defiance will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 18 as they take on Bluffton University at the Sommer Center in Bluffton, Ohio. The game will be a special weeknight doubleheader with the women's game tipping at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.