ADRIAN, MICH. -- The Defiance College women's basketball team finished on the wrong end of a high-scoring affair that saw 15 lead changes, as DC fell to Adrian (Mich.) College, 86-85, in a non-conference matchup in Adrian, Mich.
The Yellow Jackets (4-6) had four scorers in double figures, led by junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods), who finished with 24 points on nine-of-17 (52.9 percent) shooting from the floor and six-of-12 (50.0 percent) from beyond the arc. White also grabbed nine boards, dished out three assists and led the team with three steals.
Senior guard Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) came off the bench to contribute with 18 points on seven-of-11 (63.6 percent) shooting from the floor and four-of-eight (50 percent) from beyond the arc, to go along with four boards and four dimes. Senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) added 17 points and nine rebounds, while senior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) finished the night with 10 points and six boards.
Defiance shot 44.9 percent (31-of-69) from the floor, as well as 40.0 percent (10-of-25) from deep, but shot just 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from the charity stripe. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (7-3) shot 54.0 percent (34-of-63) from the floor and 47.7 percent (nine-of-19) from three. The Yellow Jackets outrebounded the Bulldogs, 42-33, for the game.
Adrian jumped out to a, 14-9, lead at the 3:44 mark of the opening quarter. The Yellow Jackets then went on a 7-1 spurt, including back-to-back buckets from Williams and a triple by White, to give Defiance a 16-15 lead. Adrian came right back to hit a three of their own to take the lead back and the two teams would exchange deuces to put Adrian in front, 20-18, after one quarter.
White, Conine, and Tietje opened the second stanza with consecutive layups to give Defiance a four-point lead just 1:30 in. Adrian came back and tied the contest at 32-32 when Defiance scored seven straight markers to put themselves back in front, 39-32, with 3:31 to play in the half. The Bulldogs then scored nine of the next 10 points to take a 41-40 advantage before sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) hit two free-throws to give DC a 42-41 lead entering the locker room.
The third quarter was a true back-and-forth affair, featuring 10 lead changes in a quarter that combined to see 51 points scored between the two teams. With 1:34 to play in the quarter, Conine made a layup to give DC a 64-62 lead. Adrian responded by hitting a triple to put them back in front, 65-64. Tietje added a layup to go back ahead by one before Adrian hit another three-ball to get in front, 68-66, after three quarters of action.
The Bulldogs used that momentum to add the first seven points of the fourth to get a game-high nine point advantage at 75-66 with 8:19 to play. The difference grew to eight points when Tietje and senior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) hit back-to-back jumpers to make it 77-73. After a Bulldog bucket, Williams hit a pair of triples, sandwiched with a layup from the Bulldogs to cut the deficit to 81-79 with 3:44 to play. White hit a three of her own with 2:55 to go that put DC in front, 82-81. After Adrian made a pair of freebies, Williams hit a three to put the Yellow Jackets up by two points. Off the DC timeout, Adrian hit a triple to make it 86-85 with 2:07 to play and neither team would score in the final two minutes as Adrian came out on top, 86-85.
Defiance finishes the second day of their back-to-back games in Michigan on Friday, Dec. 30 as DC heads to Alma, Mich. to take on the Alma College Scots. That matchup is set to tip-off at 5 p.m.