DEFIANCE, Ohio – On Saturday in the championship game of its 45th Annual Purple and Gold Tournament, the Defiance College men's basketball team came from behind to beat the Great Lakes Christian College Crusaders, 76-70, inside the Karl H. Weaner Community Center.
Defiance improves to 3-0 overall this season, its best start since the 2013-14 campaign. It is also the Yellow Jackets' first Purple and Gold Tournament title since 2014. Great Lakes Christian falls to 2-3 overall.
"It feels great. The kids are really feeling confident," DC head coach Scott Cutter said. "At halftime, guys went in and the things they were saying to each other in the locker room and that we were talking to them about, they sort of expected to come back, I really felt that way. I will say I think Great Lakes Christian is pretty good."
The Crusaders were on top for much of the first half and had a 36-24 lead at halftime. Defiance fought back to take a 40-38 advantage before GLCC regained the lead at 56-53 with 8:22 left. With just over a minute to go, the Yellow Jackets went back in front, 67-65, and never trailed again. DC made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Defiance shot 44.2 percent (23 of 52) from the field while Great Lakes Christian finished at 41.0 (25 of 61) with both teams hitting nine three-pointers. The Yellow Jackets ended with a 35-34 edge in rebounds and made 21 foul shots to the Crusaders' 11.
Sean Tyson (Columbus, Ohio/Centennial), the tournament's Most Valuable Player, paced the winners with 19 points and game highs of seven rebounds and seven assists while Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) collected 16 points, five boards and a game-best four steals off the bench. Freshman Jack Kolar (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy) contributed 12 points and six rebounds with Tyler Andrew (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) and freshman Owen Hiegel (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) adding 10 points apiece. Micaiah Cox, a member of the all-tournament team, had nine points and five boards.
Joining Tyson and Cox on the all-tournament squad were Isiah Reed from GLCC, Chris Martin of Olivet College and Jaiquan Edwards from Spalding University.
In the tournament's consolation contest that was played prior to the championship matchup, Olivet defeated Spalding, 95-75.
DC returns to action on Friday at the Coach Connor Classic, hosted by Thomas More University in northern Kentucky. At 5:30 p.m., Defiance plays the University of Akron Wayne College.