DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Freshman guard Devon Beale (Toledo/Whitmer) scored a season-high 19 points as the Defiance College men's basketball team held off Manchester (Ind.) University, 63-58, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Beale scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half and ended the game shooting 40.0 percent (six-of-15) overall from the field, including 70.0 percent (seven-of-10) from the free-throw line. He also grabbed seven rebounds. Beale was the lone Yellow Jacket in double figures, but senior Michael Parker (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) was a point away from posting a double-double as he grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in addition to scoring nine points.
As a team, DC shot 41.2 percent (21-of-51) for the game, but was held to just 16.7 percent (three-of-18) from three-point range. The Jackets went to the free-throw line 23 times and converted 18 of their attempts for 78.3 percent.
Manchester (1-5, 0-2 HCAC) scored back-to-back baskets to begin the game and grabbed the early lead. The Spartans eventually found themselves leading by as many as nine points, 15-6, just under 15 minutes to go in the first half. Defiance (2-4, 2-0 HCAC) then went on a 14-1 scoring run that ended in a triple by Parker and resulted in a 20-16 advantage for DC at the 6:09 mark.
The two teams then traded leads the rest of the way, but the Jackets ended the half with six straight points, with four of those points coming from Beale, that put DC out in front at the break, 33-27.
Defiance led for almost the entire second half, but could not pull away from Manchester until the midway point of the period as the Jackets got some breathing room with an eight-point advantage, 47-39, with 11:01 to play following a three-pointer by sophomore Noah Goodrich (Toledo/Genoa).
DC maintained an eight-point lead with just under 10 minutes to go when Manchester rallied with six consecutive points to make it a one possession game and stayed within striking distance the rest of the way. Trailing by six points at the 5:36 mark, the Spartans outscored the Jackets, 11-4, to take their first lead since the opening half, 58-57, with 1:03 left on the clock.
Senior Devin Mangas (Leipsic) scored on a layup on DC's next trip down the floor which also gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good. Following a missed free-throw attempt on their ensuing possession, Manchester was forced to foul and Parker sealed the victory with four straight free-throws to end the game resulting in the 63-58 victory for DC.
Defiance will look to keep its momentum going when it hosts Hanover (Ind.) College in a HCAC contest on Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Weaner Center. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Yellow Jacket women's team. The women will square off against the Panther women at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.