CINCINNATI, OHIO – The Defiance College women's basketball team traveled to Cincinnati for a matchup with Mount St. Joseph University and earned an 86-70 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory on Saturday afternoon.
Defiance was led by a career-high performance from sophomore Shelby Stamm (Bellevue), who scored 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the floor, and 7-of-9 from beyond the arc! Stamm also grabbed eight boards. Junior Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) added 20 points and nine rebounds, along with 17 points from junior Lauren Rogers (Munger, Mich./Bay City Central). Senior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) added 12 assists to go along with her nine points in the win.
Defiance used a hot shooting performance to grab the key victory, shooting 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from beyond the arc. DC also shot a season-high 28 free throws, converting on 20 (71.4 percent). The visitors also held a 41-34 edge in the battle of the glass.
MSJ started the game with an 11-7 lead, before Ervin scored back-to-back buckets to tie the game at 11 at the 4:25 mark. After Mount took a brief lead, Stamm connected on her first of seven triples to take a lead. The Lions responded with a three-pointer of her own to give them the lead, before Schalk scored to tie the game at 16-16, where the score remained after one quarter.
The Lions began the second half on a 12-3 run, as they hit four triples in the first two minutes of the frame to take a 28-19 lead. The Yellow Jackets stormed right back, as Rogers scored eight straight points to cut the DC deficit to two points before another three-ball from Stamm gave Defiance the lead again at 29-28. Ervin added a layup to make it a 31-28 game and finish the 13-0 Defiance spurt. MSJ ended the run with a triple but Stamm came back on the next possession to hit a triple of her own to give DC the lead back. The half ended with back-to-back buckets from Ervin and Cassidy Yant (Churubusco, Ind.) as Defiance took a 38-31 lead into the break.
The Yellow Jackets extended their run in the second half, as Ashley Lee (Millington, Mich.) kicked off the third quarter with a triple. Stamm then hit two freebies and Rogers hit a jumper to give Defiance their biggest lead at 45-31. MSJ cut the lead to 10 points, but Stamm and Schalk hit two straight three-pointers to extend the lead back to 51-35. Late in the third, MSJ made a run to cut the deficit to nine points with under a minute left in the third before Ervin and Brittany Osborne (Union City, Ind.) ensured the momentum stayed with the Yellow Jackets with consecutive buckets to give Defiance a 58-45 lead after three quarters.
After Rogers opened the fourth with a layup, the Lions rallied for eight straight points to cut the deficit to 60-53 with 7:37 left. The Lions continued to battle with the lead still at seven points, 66-59, before Lee and Ervin hit two straight jumpers to make it a 70-59 DC lead at the midway point. The Defiance lead stayed between seven and 11 points for most of the fourth quarter. When MSJ cut the deficit to 74-67 with 2:03 to play, Defiance finished the game making 12 of their final 16 free throws to lock up an 86-70 victory to sweep the season series over Mount St. Joseph.
The Yellow Jackets look to carry their momentum as they return to action on Wednesday, Feb.7 as the Bluffton University Beavers come to the Karl H. Weaner Center. Tip-off is set for a 6 p.m. tip.