DELAWARE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's basketball team broke into the win column in their final tuneup before conference play begins on Saturday with a 59-58 victory over Ohio Wesleyan University on Tuesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
DC was led by sophomore Shelby Stamm (Bellevue), who scored a career-high 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 5-of-8 from beyond the arc. Stamm also finished the night with eight rebounds and an assist in the victory. Junior Lauren Rogers (Munger, Mich./Bay City Central) added 13 markers and seven boards, while junior Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) finished with 11 points and nine boards.
As a team, DC finished the night shooting just 33.9 percent (19-of-56) from the floor and 35.0 percent (7-of-20) from beyond the arc. The Battling Bishops shot an improved 40.4 percent (23-of-57) overall, but ended up shooting just 21.4 percent (3-of-14) from deep. Defiance won the rebounding battle, 41-38, but committed one more turnover than OWU (19-18).
After the Bishops took an early 4-3 lead, Stamm took control of the game, as the Yellow Jackets stormed to a 12-2 spurt that included three triples from Stamm and gave Defiance a 15-6 lead with 4:18 left in the opening quarter. Ohio Wesleyan scored four straight before a layup from Ervin and a trey by Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) to give Defiance a 20-11 edge, before OWU scored the final four points of the stanza to make it a 20-15 game after one.
Stamm scored at the 7:44 mark to give DC their largest lead of the quarter, 24-17. The teams exchanged buckets, with Ohio Wesleyan cutting the lead to four points before Ervin and Rogers scored back-to-back buckets to grow the lead to eight, 31-23, midway through the second. The lead was at 32-25 when the Battling Bishops scored seven of the next eight points to get the game to within one, 33-32, with under a minute left in the half. A pair of free throws from Danielle Carruthers (New London) grew the lead back to three (35-32), before Ervin split a pair to make it 36-32. OWU finished the half with a bucket to make it a 36-34 game at the break.
Ohio Wesleyan tied the game to open the third quarter and took their first lead on a triple at the 6:55 mark to give them a 43-42 advantage. Senior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) scored on a putback before another trey for OWU put them back in front, 46-44. Rogers responded with a bucket to tie the game and Kalyn Pickens (Ft. Wayne, Ind./R. Nelson Snider) split a pair of free throws to put Defiance back in front, 47-46. The home team rallied for five straight points to take a 51-47 lead, but Ervin stopped the run with a putback to end the quarter with the Bishops holding a 51-49 lead through three.
The OWU lead grew to as many as six points (57-51) as Defiance struggled to score in the first five minutes of the fourth. Stamm broke the ice at the 3:47 mark with a key triple to cut the lead in half at 57-54, which kickstarted a 7-0 spurt as she and Ashley Lee (Millington, Mich.) both hit both of their freebies to put Defiance in front, 58-57, with 1:57 to play. Ohio Wesleyan's Claire Sterling split two from the line to tie the game up at 1:39 left and the difference came on two more from the charity stripe from Stamm with four seconds to play, as she missed the first but made the second to wrap up a 59-58 win for the Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets will start Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Saturday, Dec. 2 with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind. for a matchup with the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.