ANDERSON, IND. -- Sophomore Randall Aikins, Jr. (Detroit, Mich./Plymouth) scored a season-high 23 points, but the Defiance College men's basketball team fell, 97-88, against Anderson (Ind.) University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game in Anderson, Ind.
The Yellow Jackets had a strong shooting night as a team converting 49.2 percent (32-of-65) of their overall attempts, including making 13 three-pointers, finishing 13-of-23 overall (56.5 percent). The difference came at the free-throw line as DC got to the line a total of 19 times compared to Anderson's 30 attempts. The Jackets made 11 of their shots (57.9 percent) as the Ravens made 24 of their attempts (80.0 percent).
Aikins was one of four DC players to score in double figures on eight-of-18 shooting (44.4 percent). Senior Chris Holmes (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) was second in scoring with 16 points and connected on four shots from behind the arc. Fellow senior Michael Parker (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) scored all 13 of his points in the second half, and senior Devin Mangas (Leipsic) rounded out the high scorers with 11 points and also grabbed a career-tying and game-high nine rebounds.
In the first half, Anderson outscored Defiance, 55-40, and began the game with 12 straight points as part of a 15-2 scoring run. A layup by freshman Keith McClure (Toledo/Toledo Christian) then sparked an ensuing 10-0 run for Defiance (4-14, 3-8 HCAC) to swing momentum in favor of the Yellow Jackets and cut the deficit to three points, 15-12, at the 12:23 mark.
Anderson (12-6, 9-2 HCAC) answered the run with five straight points of their own to extend the margin back out to eight points, 20-12. The Raven lead hovered around the eight-point mark for the majority of the remainder of the half, despite the Jackets narrowing the gap to three points again with 6:39 left in the period following back-to-back triples by Holmes.
At just over the five minute mark, the Ravens began to pull away and recorded their first double-digit lead of the contest. Anderson went on to lead by as many as 18 points, 52-34, en route to taking a 55-40 advantage into the break.
Defiance looked to rally in the second half and found itself trailing by 13 points, 64-51, with 15 minutes to go after another triple by Holmes. Anderson answered again with three straight buckets to go up by 19 points, 70-51, at the 13:36 mark. The Ravens maintained an 18-point advantage with 5:47 left to play when DC started to make its move.
The Yellow Jackets made things interesting thanks to a 12-0 run that ended in a layup by Aikins and put Defiance within striking distance, trailing by just six points, 89-83, with 2:35 remaining. Trailing by seven points, a three-pointer by Anderson with under a minute to go increased the margin back to double figures, 95-85.
Following a three-pointer by Mangas, the Defiance shooting then went cold as Anderson added a pair of free-throws down the stretch to seal a 97-88 win.
Defiance will look to get on the winning track when it travels to Hanover, Ind. for a HCAC matchup against Hanover College as part of a basketball doubleheader with the Jacket women's team. The women will take on the Panthers at 1 p.m., followed by the men at 3 p.m.