DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College men's basketball team used hot shooting to hang around, but ultimately dropped a 106-94 decision to Ohio Northern University at the Karl H. Weaner Center on Wednesday night.
Junior Noah Goodrich (Oregon/Genoa) stepped up for the Yellow Jackets (1-2) to lead the way with a career-high 28 points, on 8-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc, to go along with five rebounds. Freshman Devonate Kinnie (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Northside) added a season-best 24 markers on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from deep. Kinnie also added eight assists, three rebounds, and two steals. The third and final double-figure scorer for the Yellow Jackets was junior Randall Aikins Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) with 15 points, four boards, and five steals for DC.
ONU (1-0) was led by sophomore Ryan Bruns, who scored 36 points on 15-of-22 shooting and 10 rebounds, while senior Nate Burger added 30 points on 10-of-16 from the floor and 14 assists for the Polar Bears.
The Yellow Jackets shot the ball red-hot from three-point land on the night, shooting at a 47.2 percent clip (17-of-36). DC finished the contest shooting just 40.3 percent from the floor (31-of-77) and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the free throw line. ONU, meanwhile, shot 62.1 percent (41-of-66) from the floor and 36 percent (9-of-25) from deep.
After DC got off to a quick start with a 9-5 lead, Ohio Northern went on a 17-4 run to take a 22-13 lead at the 11:43 mark of the opening half. The run ended on a triple from Kiewuan Graham (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) to cut the lead to six. ONU made it an eight-point contest before another trey for Jordan Maschino (Bradford/Covington) and another bucket by Graham cut the deficit to three points at 24-21. ONU responded quickly with seven points in the next 1:30 of action to grow the lead back to 31-21.
The Yellow Jackets punched right back, as Aikins hit a pair of freebies, followed by back-to-back threes from Goodrich and a third from Aikins gave the Yellow Jackets a 32-31 lead. Goodrich wrapped up the 13-0 spurt with a layup at the 6:11 mark to put DC in front, 34-31. Ohio Northern scored eight consecutive before Goodrich halted that run with another three-ball to cut the deficit to two points, 39-37. The Polar Bears stretched it to a six-point game before yet another triple from Goodrich cut it back to a 43-40 game. ONU went on a run heading to the locker room, scoring 12 of the final 15 points to take a 55-43 lead into the locker room.
Ohio Northern opened the second stanza by marching the lead to 18 points in the opening 1:04. Defiance was forced to play from behind, but cut the deficit to single digits on a layup by Aikins Jr. at the 11:20 mark to cut ONU's edge to 78-69 at the 11:20 mark. The Yellow Jackets surrendered a bucket on the other end before a jumper by Kinnie and a pair of freebies from Goodrich cut the deficit to seven points (80-73). The Polar Bears scored five straight before two more free throws by Aikins Jr. and another three from Goodrich cut the deficit back to 85-78 with 8:25 to play. That would be as close as the contest would get, as ONU got the lead to as many as 17 points (102-85) before finishing the contest with a 106-94 victory over the feisty Yellow Jackets.
Defiance will begin Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Monday, Nov. 27 as they make the trip to North Manchester, Ind. for a matchup with the Manchester University Spartans. Tip time is set for 7:30 p.m.