TERRE HAUTE, IND. - The Defiance College women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker in its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener against defending conference champions Rose-Hulman on Saturday afternoon, 67-55.
Defiance (1-4 overall, 0-1 HCAC) was led in the contest by senior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) with a team-high 15 points, four assists and three rebounds. Sophomore Shelby Stamm (Bellevue) added nine points including three three-pointers.
The Purple and Gold jumped the Fightin' Engineers early as a three pointer by Stamm and a layup by Schalk put the Yellow Jackets on top 5-0 just 1:30 into the opening period. However, Rose-Hulman came roaring back with a 9-0 run of its own to take the lead, 9-5. The two teams continued to exchange points for much of the first quarter before a Defiance miscue and a Rose-Hulman rebound and put back gave the Fightin' Engineers the 14-13 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets continued to connect from long range as a three pointer from Stamm tied the contest once more with 7:30 remaining till intermission, 17-17. Rose-Hulman kept pace with DC as they outscored the Yellow Jackets 5-2 over the next three minutes to capture the lead, 22-18. Junior Lauren Rogers (Munger, Mich./Bay City Central) and Schalk stepped up late in the period halting the charging Fightin' Engineers as they connected on layups in the paint to cut the deficit to 25-22 at the break.
The Defiance offense chipped away at the Rose-Hulman lead for much of the third quarter as Rogers and junior Ashley Lee (Millington, Mich.) sank back-to-back three pointers with 6:53 reamining, 30-28. The Purple and Gold would eventually capture the lead moments later following a steal by senior Brittany Osborne (Union City, Ind.) and a layup by Schalk, 33-32. Rose-Hulman looked to run away with it late in the third but a free throw by Osborne stalled the Fightin' Engineers attack, 47-44.
In the final period of action, Rose-Hulman captured its largest lead of the contest to date with a 7-0 run, 58-48. DC made a charge late as Schalk cut the deficit to five with a deep ball at 4:02 to play, 58-53. However, the defending HCAC Champions reigned to much as they were able to hold off the Yellow Jackets to claim the win, 67-55.
Defiance returns to action Wednesday, December 6 as they welcome Manchester, Ind. to the Karl H. Weaner Center. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.