DEFIANCE, Ohio – Early struggles sink Yellow Jackets on Tuesday evening in non-conference action against Alma College, 84-69.
Defiance (2-8 overall) was led in the contest by junior Lauren Rogers (Munger, Mich./Bay City Central) and junior Ashley Lee (Millington, Mich.) with 13 points apiece. As a team the Purple and Gold shot 23-of-58 (39.7%) from the field and pulled down 29 rebounds.
The Purple and Gold looked to make a statement early as Rogers connected from deep to give DC the early advantage, 3-2. The Yellow Jackets continued its assault on the offensive side of the court as Lee hit a three-pointer and Rogers connected in the lane to put Defiance on top, 10-9.
However, Alma answered as a three-pointer with 3:59 remaining sparked a Scots 5-0 run that led to a 21-16 lead. Senior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) would steal the momentum back seconds later as she completed the scoop and score with 2:10 to play, 21-18. Junior Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) closed out the opening period for Defiance as she landed a three-point in the final seconds to cut the deficit to 25-23.
The Yellow Jackets struggled for much of the second period going scoreless for nearly four minutes before Lee ended the drought from behind the arc with 5:57 remaining to cut into the Scots lead, 35-26. Alma responded stringing together a 6-0 run over the next three minutes to expand their lead, 41-26. The Purple and Gold clawed their way back into to the game scoring the final seven points led by senior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) to enter the break trailing 41-33.
The Scots charged ahead early in the second half as back-to-back scores gave Alma its largest lead with 5:49 to play in the third quarter, 55-38. Defiance continued to battle and was finally able to get something going on the offensive end as a jumper from senior Brittany Osborne (Union City, Ind.) and a three-pointer from Rogers pulled DC within 55-45. The Purple and Gold cranked up the intensity capitalizing on an Alma miscues to cut the advantage to 60-52 after three quarters.
However, Alma continued its hot shooting early in the fourth period scoring back-to-back buckets to push the lead to ten, 65-55. White looked to get something going for DC as she hit a deep ball with 8:19 remaining. The Scots offense deemed resilient as they continued to dominate down low as a layup with 5:34 remaining pushed the lead, 75-61. Alma never looked back as they outscored the Jackets 24-17 in the final period to claim the victory.
Defiance returns to action Saturday, December 30 as they host Adrian College at the Karl H. Weaner Center. Tip off is set for 1:00 p.m.