ANGOLA, IND. -- The Defiance College men's basketball team fell short of Trine (Ind.) University, 68-62, in the 2016-17 season opener in Angola, Ind.
Defiance (0-1) had two players score in double figures in seniors Michael Parker (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Devin Mangas (Leipsic). Parker led the team with 16 points on five-of-17 shooting (29.4 percent), while Mangas scored 10 points on three-of-eight shooting (37.5 percent).
On the boards, senior Chris Holmes (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) led the team with eight rebounds, followed by the duo of freshmen Devon Beale (Toledo/Whitmer) and DeMario Hill (Cincinnati/Cincinnati Taft) with five boards each.
The Yellow Jackets scored 31 points in the first half while shooting 44.8 percent (13-of-29) overall, including 57.1 percent (four-of-seven) from three-point range. Trine (1-0) shot just 28.6 percent (10-of-35) for the first 20 minutes, including 7.7 percent (one-of-13) from long range, but trailed by just three points at the half.
Defiance led early in the first half, including having a three-point edge, 9-6, following a layup by Hill at the 15:49 mark. The Thunder then went on an 11-0 scoring run to take their first lead of the contest to lead by eight points, 17-9, with 9:29 left in the period. But DC came right back with a three-pointer by Parker and a three-point play by Mangas to narrow the gap to two points, 17-15, with just over eight minutes to go.
Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way, and the Jackets eventually regained the lead and took a 31-28 advantage into the locker rooms.
The second half would be a complete reversal of the first as DC shot just 28.1 percent (nine-of-32) from the floor and 18.8 percent (three-of-16) from behind the arc, as Trine shot 62.5 percent (15-of-24) from the field and outscored the Jackets, 40-31.
DC quickly extended its lead to eight points, 38-30, following another triple by Parker to begin the second half. But an ensuing 9-0 run by Trine, put the Thunder back out in front, 39-38, with 14:46 left to play. The two teams battled to a 42-42 tie when Trine looked to pull away with a 10-0 run to lead 52-42 nearing the halfway point of the half.
The Yellow Jackets hung around and chipped away at the deficit to get to within three points, 64-61, with just under 30 seconds remaining in the game. DC was forced to foul Trine which turned it into four points at the free-throw line to preserve the lead and go on to claim the 68-62 victory.
Defiance will next travel to Wooster, Ohio for a non-conference game against preseason No. 7 nationally-ranked The College of Wooster on Saturday, Nov. 19. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.