DEFIANCE, OHIO -- A three-pointer by senior Michael Parker (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) with four seconds remaining in the second overtime resulted in a 94-93 win for the Defiance College men's basketball team in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Despite trailing by as many as seven points in double overtime, Defiance rallied with a 10-2 scoring run that ended in what turned out to be Parker's game-winning triple with seconds remaining. Franklin would get a look with a three-point attempt of its own, but the shot grazed the front of the rim, sealing the victory for the Yellow Jackets.
Parker led DC in scoring with a season-high 28 points on nine-of-20 shooting (45.0 percent), including connecting on six three-pointers (six-of-15 overall). Fellow senior Devin Mangas (Leipsic) also surpassed the 20-point plateau with a season-best 20 points on eight-of-13 shooting (61.5 percent).
Two other Yellow Jacket players scored in double-figures in sophomore Randal Aikins, Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) and freshman Devon Beale (Toledo/Whitmer). Aikins tallied 14 points and Beale added 12 points in addition to grabbing a team-high seven rebounds.
Franklin (2-3, 0-1 HCAC) lead early in the first half and built a seven-point advantage, 11-4, at the 14:10 minute mark. Defiance (1-4, 1-0 HCAC) then outscored the Grizzlies, 11-2, that included a triple by Parker that gave the Jackets their first lead of the game, 15-13, with 10:19 remaining before halftime.
Both teams then went back-and-forth the rest of the way with neither team leading by more than three points. DC took over the lead with a jumper from long range by sophomore Noah Goodrich (Toledo/Genoa) just under a minute to go. Franklin regained the lead with an ensuing jumper, but another three-pointer by Goodrich was the final basket of the half, giving the Jackets a 36-34 advantage at the intermission.
Defiance looked to take control of the game in the early minutes of the second half by outscoring Franklin, 11-2, to boast an 11-point lead that included back-to-back three-pointers by Parker to make the score 47-36, at the 16:59 mark. The Grizzlies chipped away at the Jacket lead and narrowed the gap to a point, 51-50, with 10:55 left in regulation.
The Grizzlies later tied the game at 64-64 with just over four minutes to play and took over the lead, 68-66, at the 2:08 mark. The final points of the period came on a pair of free-throws by Parker to even the score for the eighth time in the game, 68-68, and sent the game into overtime.
Both teams continued to swap leads in overtime with Franklin leading by three points, 80-77, with 1:28 left. Parker connected on a three on the Yellow Jackets' ensuing possession and then also hit on a jumper the next trip down to put DC ahead, 82-80, with 56 seconds to go. This time, the Grizzlies tallied the final points of the period on a pair of free-throws, tying the game at 82-82 and forcing a second overtime.
Franklin outscored Defiance, 9-2, in the first 2:16 to take a sizeable seven-point advantage. The Jackets rallied again and made it a one possession game, 93-91, with 37 seconds following a layup by Aikins. After a Franklin turnover, DC would get the opportunity it needed to tie or take the lead. Parker then launched a shot attempt from between the three-point line and half court which found the bottom of the net with four seconds remaining. The final attempt by Franklin would fall short, giving DC a thrilling 94-93 win.
Defiance will host Manchester (Ind.) University in a HCAC game on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at the Weaner Center. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the DC women's team. The women will tip-off against the Spartans at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m.