MANCHESTER, IND. – Balanced scoring led the Defiance College men's basketball team past Manchester on Monday evening in its Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at the Stauffer-Wolfe Arena, 79-75.
The Yellow Jackets (2-2 overall 1-0 HCAC) were led in the contest by freshman Davontae Kinnie (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northside) with a team-high 19 points and nine assists. Sophomore Jordan Maschino (Bradford/Covington) chipped in a career-high 18 points, while freshman Kiewuan Graham (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) added 10 points.
As a team, Defiance finished with a game-high 38 rebounds and 13 steals. The Purple and Gold shot 30-of-56 (53.6%) from the field with four three-pointers.
DC opened the first half strong as a layup by Maschino gave the Purple and Gold their first lead of the contest with 14:08 to play, 10-9. The two teams exchanged points for several minutes before a 6-2 run by Manchester flipped the score, 26-20.
However, back-to-back layups by Graham and Maschino knotted the score with 5:20 to play, 29-29. Maschino continued to dominate on the offensive side of the ball as a scoop and score led to a Defiance five point advantage, 35-30.
Once again the Spartans came storming back before Kinnie connected with freshman Demoines Whitney (Detroit, Mich./Western) and a deep ball by junior Jovon Thomason (Port Huron, Mich.) in the final seconds put the Yellow Jackets on top at the half, 42-37.
The Purple and Gold entered the break shooting 18-of-30 (60%) from the field, led by Kinne with 14 points and four assists.
DC remained hot in the second half as senior Jonathan Ragland (Wilmette, Ill./Loyola Academy) connected from down town followed by a layup from Kinnie to push the lead with 18:53 remaining, 47-39. Manchester slowly cut the deficit as a pair of free throws minutes later tied the contest, 51-51.
Neither team could find traction late in the half as they exchanged points for several minutes when the Yellow Jacket offense erupted for an 11-0 run over a four minute span to capture the 64-57 advantage. DC secured the win at the free throw line in the final minute en route to the win.
Manchester was lead in the contest by Adrian Johnson with a game-high 28 points.
The Purple and Gold return to action Wednesday as they travel to Wilmington for a non-conference match. The game is set to tip off at 7:30 p.m.