CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph Lions snapped a four-game losing streak to the Defiance College women's basketball team with a 74-67 victory on Saturday, December 7. DC drops to 2-4 (0-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference), while the Lions grab their first win to move to 1-6 (1-1 HCAC).
Four minutes in, a three from senior Erica King (Wauseon, Ohio/Pettisville) gave the Purple and Gold an early 9-4 advantage. However, the home team came to play on this day and quickly tied the game up at 11-11.
After the two squads traded buckets for a short stretch, Defiance's offense put together a string of solid possessions to get back on top. A layup by freshman Kelsey Tietje (Deshler, Ohio/Patrick Henry) gave the Jackets their biggest lead of the game at 24-17.
Slowly, MSJ started to mount a comeback. A jumper from the Lions Erica Walsh at the 3:34 mark then knotted the contest at 24-24. The momentum only continued to build for Mount, as it quickly jumped out to a 38-31 advantage with under a minute to play and that would be the score heading into half.
Coming out of the gates in the second period, the Lions continued to fight hard for that elusive first win of the season. The Jackets made their pushes to slim the MSJ lead to two early in the half, but Mount held tough and owned a 56-48 advantage with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
With the clock winding down, the Purple and Gold needed to get back into the game and it made a quick run to do just that. King knocked down another hit from behind the arc, Tietje laid in a pair of buckets and a Hannah Harshman (Ohio City, Ohio/ Parkway) layup gave Defiance a 59-58 lead with 6:15 to play.
It was DC's first lead since the three-minute mark in the first half. Unfortunately, it would not last long, as the Lions answered right back and retook the lead 62-61 two minutes later. From there on out, MSJ started to pull away, forcing tough shots for the Jackets and sinking its free throws.
Mount extended the lead over the rest of the contest and came away with its first win of the season by a score of 74-67. The victory, ended Defiance's streak against the Lions as well as a four-game skid of losing at home to the Jackets.
The defeat on the road is a big setback for the Purple and Gold, who were trying to bounce back from a tough loss at home to Manchester. But as they have all season, turnovers really hurt DC and were the driving force in the loss.
On the day, the Yellow Jackets actually had a very efficient day at the offensive end. DC recorded its second-best field goal percentage on the season by shooting 27-of-54 (50.0 percent) from the field. It also notched its best free-throw percentage at 76.9 percent (10-of-13).
Defiance also managed to outrebound the Lions (34-to-31) and have a season-high 10 steals. But everything came back to the 29 turnovers that led to MSJ having 10 more shots from the floor.
Tietje led the Purple and Gold with 19 points and nine rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting. Harshman had another big game as well, racking up 16 points (8-of-14) and hauling in six boards. King was also solid in the loss, scoring 12 (5-of-11), dishing out six assists and swiping three steals.
DC will have the week off to regroup before it gets back in action next Saturday, December 14. However, it has a tough test ahead, taking on the reigning conference champion Transylvania Pioneers. Game time is set for 1 p.m.