DEFIANCE, OHIO - The Defiance College women's basketball team tipped-off the 2018-19 season on Tuesday evening. The Yellow Jackets under the direction of first-year Head Coach Allan King, Jr. hosted the Albion College Britons and fell by a final score of 65-58.
The Purple and Gold gave Yellow Jacket fans something to cheer about early as Kalyn Pickens (Fort Wayne, Ind. / R. Nelson Snider) found Sam Ervin (Bloomdale / Bloomdale) who drained a shot from beyond the arc for the first points of the season.
The sides battled back and forth for much of the first quarter, seeing three lead changes before the Britons pulled ahead with a slight advantage. With Defiance up 7-6 the Britons took the lead on a layup as part of a nine point run for a 15-7 scoreline. Four straight Lauren Rogers (Munger, Mich. / Bay City Central) points helped keep the Yellow Jackets fighting in the first period of action. As the buzzer sounded, Albion held a 19-11 advantage.
DC quickly found footing in the second quarter as Shelby Stamm (Bellevue / Bellevue) knocked down two three-pointers to cut into the vistors' lead. The Britons continued to hold the lead until with 3:25 remaining in the half, a Taylor Day (West Mansfield / North Union) three knotted the score at 26-26. The Britons responded with a pair of three-pointers of their own to help them to the 36-31 score as they sides headed to the locker room.
Day continued her day of offense as she sunk another three to bring the score to 36-34 early in the third quarter. Despite pulling within two, the Yellow Jackets were unable to secure a lead during the third period of action. Coach King's Jackets would look to battle back in the fourth as the sides headed into the final quarter of action with an Albion lead, 52-42.
A series of turnovers began the fourth quarter before Stamm stepped to the charity stripe for a couple of baskets. With an 11 point Albion lead Defiance looked to mount a comeback with just over seven minutes on the clock. With 1:46 remaining in the contest Ervin followed up a Roger's three with a triple of her own to give the Yellow Jacket faithful renewed energy. Down just five, the Purple and Gold were unable to complete the comeback. The Britons ultimately pulled away to wrap up the game 68-58.
Offensively, Day led the Yellow Jackets with 14 points, while adding five rebounds, five assists, and one block to her statline. Day was one of five DC players to hit double digits on day. Ervin led on the glass for the Purple and Gold grabbing 19 boards, while completing the double-double with 11 points.
Defiance shot 29.3% from the field on the evening. 7-19 from beyond the arc was enough to give the hosts a 36.8% mark from deep.
After the game, Coach King commented; "I'm happy with our effort. While we have a lot of little details to improve, I felt we gave a great effort and did things the Defiance College Women's Basketball way." King added, "If we maintain that level of play, we will be a tough team to beat this season."
The defeat in the season opener starts the DC season with an 0-1 mark. After a few days off, the Yellow Jackets will head to North Park University, where they will take on Elmhurst on Friday, Nov. 16 at 5:30 pm.