DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College men's basketball team posted a convincing win against The Ohio State University-Lima, 78-46, with a balanced attack in its opening game of the annual Purple & Gold Financial Invitational at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
The Yellow Jackets had three players score in double figures led by senior Michael Parker's (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) game-high 17 points with 15 of those points coming from three-point range. Fellow seniors Chris Holmes (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) and Devin Mangas (Leipsic) also scored in double digits with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Mangas also added a game-high five assists and grabbed six rebounds.
As a team, DC shot 42.9 percent (30-of-70) from the field, including 42.3 percent (11-of-26) from long range. The Jackets also out-rebounded the Barons by a lopsided, 53-33, margin with senior Keandre Gilmer (Toledo/Rogers) recording a game-tying high 11 boards.
Defiance (3-7) never trailed in the game and quickly jumped out a 5-0 lead with a jumper by freshman Payton Ross (Indianapolis, Ind./Arlington) and a triple by Mangas within the opening 1:09. OSU-Lima battled back to a, 6-5, deficit before DC went on a 12-3 scoring run that included nine straight points during the spurt, to extend out to a 10-point advantage, 18-8, at the 8:48 mark.
The Barrons got back to within five points, 20-15, with under six-and-a-half minutes to go in the period, but that was as close as they'd get the rest of the way as the Jackets went back ahead by double figures and led by as many as 14 points, 34-20, on another three-pointer by Mangas with just under two minutes to go before the half.
OSU-Lima ended the period on a 5-2 mini run, but DC still led by a comfortable 11-point margin, 36-25, at the intermission.
In a repeat of the first half, Defiance came out scoring five straight points that included one of Parker's five triples on the night, to extend the margin to 16 points, 41-25, early. The Barons made it a 10-point ball game on two occasions with the last one coming at the 16:25 mark with the score of 43-33.
The Yellow Jackets then put the game away with an ensuing 17-0 run that ended in a bucket by senior Javone Hilliard (Indianapolis, Ind./Arsenal Tech) to give DC a commanding 27-point advantage, 60-33, with 9:30 left in the game.
DC was never threatened the remainder of the game and topped the 30-point plateau for the first time in the contest with 4:19 remaining following a pair of free-throws by freshman Randall Aikins, Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) making the score, 70-40. The Jackets went on to lead by as many as 33 points twice in the final minute-and-a-half, including the final score of 78-45.
Defiance will wrap-up the two-day Purple & Gold Financial Invitational tomorrow (Sunday, Dec. 30) when it takes on Alma (Mich.) College in a non-conference matchup at the Weaner Center. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.