FRANKLIN, IND. -- Senior Michael Parker (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) scored a career-high 41 points to lead the Defiance College men's basketball team past Franklin (Ind.) College, 82-79, in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game in Franklin, Ind.
The win also ended a six-game losing streak for the Yellow Jackets. Parker was one of two DC players to score in double figures. Parker shot 55.0 percent (11-of-20) overall, including 50.0 percent (seven-of-14) from three-point range and 80.0 percent (12-of-15) at the free-throw line. He also grabbed six rebounds.
Joining Parker in double figures was senior Keandre Gilmer (Toledo/Rogers) who scored 13 points on a perfect six-of-six shooting. He also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to complete the double-double.
As a team, Defiance shot 50.9 percent (29-of-57) overall for the game
Franklin (6-15, 3-11 HCAC) scored the game's first points on a three-pointer, but then the two teams played a back-and-forth game with one lead change and four ties in the first four minutes of the contest. Defiance (5-16, 4-10 HCAC) moved ahead on the scoreboard with back-to-back triples by Parker that gave the Jackets a six-point advantage, 15-9, at the 15:25 mark.
DC later went on to lead by eight points with under 11 minutes to play before the end of the half following a jumper by Parker that made the score, 21-13. Franklin scored four quick unanswered points before DC answered with a 14-4 scoring run to extend the margin to 14 points, 35-21, with just under four minutes to play.
Defiance scored the final five points of the half with a three-pointer by sophomore Noah Goodrich (Toledo/Genoa) and a layup by fellow sophomore Randall Aikins, Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) as the Jackets recorded their largest lead of the period of 17 points with a halftime score of 44-27.
The second half began with a jumper by freshman Payton Ross (Indianapolis, Ind./Arlington) and a layup by Gilmer that increased the DC lead to 21 points, 48-27, early. Defiance went on to lead by as many as 22 points on two occasions shortly after and had a 21-point advantage, 59-38, with 13:23 left in regulation.
Franklin then began to rally, outscoring DC, 14-2, to narrow the gap to single digits, 61-52, with under eight minutes to go. A three-pointer by Parker, put the Jackets back out in front by double figures and looked to be headed to victory with a double-digit lead with 1:57 remaining, 72-62.
The Grizzlies continued their comeback and fought back to within three points, 76-73, with 30 seconds left. Defiance then put the game away at the free-throw line, making six-of-eight attempts to lead 82-76 with just seconds to go. Franklin tallied the final points of the game on a triple as time expired, but the Jackets came away with the 82-79 victory.
Defiance will next host Bluffton University on Wednesday, Feb. 8 in a HCAC and basketball doubleheader with the Yellow Jacket women's team. The women will tip-off against the Beavers at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m. at the Karl H. Weaner Center.