DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Balanced scoring led the Defiance College women's basketball team to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory as they knocked off Earlham (Ind.) College, 62-59, at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
The Yellow Jackets (7-7, 4-3 HCAC) placed five scorers in double figures, led by senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) who scored 12 points on four-of-five (80 percent) shooting from the floor to go along with nine rebounds and four blocks. Senior guard Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) added 11 markers on three-of-nine shooting from deep, while also grabbing a career-high six steals and four boards.
Senior guard Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) finished the evening with 10 points, as well as seven assists and five rebounds, while senior forward Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) chipped in with 10 points and eight boards. Sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) also finished with 10 points, including a perfect six-of-six from the foul line, and grabbed four caroms.
The Yellow Jackets had a rough shooting night, going 21-of-66 (31.8 percent) from the floor and seven-of-33 (21.2 percent) from beyond the arc, while the Quakers (0-14, 0-7 HCAC) shot 23-of-50 (46.0 percent) overall and five-of-nine (55.6 percent) from deep. DC also finished the night with a season-low nine turnovers, while the Quakers committed 21 in the loss.
The home team got off to a fast start, as Tietje nailed back-to-back jumpers and the Yellow Jackets knocked down three triples in the first four minutes of action to take a 13-6 lead. Earlham roared back to score nine straight to take a 15-13 lead late in the first quarter, but a Conine jumper in the final minute made it a 17-17 affair after a quarter of action.
Williams hit her third triple of the contest and Ervin added a layup to put Defiance back up 22-17 a minute into the second quarter. Later in the stanza, DC led 30-26 at the 4:34 mark before Defiance tallied 10 consecutive markers in just three minutes to take a 40-26 lead with 1:11 to play in the half. Earlham scored the final four points of the quarter to cut the deficit to 40-30 entering the locker room.
The third stanza was dominated by the Quakers, who outscored the Yellow Jackets, 15-4, in the opening seven-and-a-half minutes to take a 45-44 advantage with 2:28 to play. Tietje ended the quarter on a tear, scoring the last six markers to give DC a 50-45 edge entering the fourth period.
Earlham tied the game at 50-50 after scoring the first five points of the fourth. Smay added a jumper, but after a Quaker response, Smay hit a three-pointer to give DC a 55-52 lead with 4:48 left. Earlham took a 56-55 lead before Smay added another triple to put DC ahead, 58-56, and Defiance would never trail again en route to a 62-59 win.
Defiance hits the road for their next two contests, beginning with a trip to Terre Haute, Ind. on Saturday, Jan. 14 to battle with the HCAC-leading Rose-Hulman (Ind.) Institute of Technology Fightin' Engineers. The game is set to tip-off at 1 p.m. and will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Jacket men's team which are scheduled to tip-off at 3 p.m.