DEFIANCE, Ohio – Another slow start hampered the Yellow Jackets, as they fell behind early to the Trine Thunder on Wednesday, December 18 and were never able to take the lead in the midweek contest. The visitors then sealed the deal with a late push and came away with a 65-57 road win.
The loss drops the Purple and Gold to 2-6 (0-3 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference), while the Thunder improve its season record to 2-7.
In the first half, to say that the Thunder got off to a hot start was an understatement. Coming into this game, Trine had been shooting a combined 33.5 percent from the floor and a brutal 16.4 percent behind the arc.
But against Defiance, the Thunder came out hitting 15-of-33 shots for a 45.4 percent clip. It also sunk 3-of-5 three's, which was just over a quarter of their season total (11). The hot start allowed TU to take a commanding 31-13 lead with 5:51 left in the first half.
Fortunately, the Yellow Jackets started to settle in and put up better possessions at the offensive end. The team also took advantage of its size and outrebounded Trine 24-15 in the first period, including nine offensive rebounds.
Freshman center Kelsey Tietje (Deshler, Ohio) was a big reason for the advantage on the glass, hauling in 10 rebounds of her own. DC concluded the half with a 16-6 run and trailed only 37-29 at the intermission.
Coming out of the break, Trine made a move first, pushing its lead to 42-31 on an Amy Newell jumper two and a half minutes in. Then the Purple and Gold answered with a 9-0 spurt in the next five minutes to close the gap to 42-40.
The Yellow Jackets and the Thunder continued to battle back in forth in the period. After a Hannah Harshman (Ohio City, Ohio / Parkway) layup, Trine was clinging to a 50-48 advantage with just under five minutes remaining in the game.
Unfortunately, that was as close as Defiance came the rest of the night. TU came through with a couple of clutch jumpers and made enough free throws down the stretch to put the game out of reach for the Purple and Gold. The Thunder walked off the court with only its second victory of the season, after the 65-57 win.
The Yellow Jackets struggled from the field on the night, shooting just 35.7 percent from the floor and 21.1 percent (4-of-19) from distance. They did keep their turnovers down to the second-lowest total of the year at 19, but it was still too many, as Trine took care of the ball with eight. DC did manage to win the battle on the glass by a wide margin 44-30.
Leading Defiance in scoring was Harshman with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go along with nine boards and three assists. Coming up with her fifth double-double of the season was Tietje. The freshman notched her second 15-rebound performance of the season, while adding 10 points.
DC's next action will come on December 28th and 29th when it heads up to Michigan to compete at the Albion Tournament. The Lady Jackets will go up against the Britons on Saturday the 28th at 4 p.m. and then turn around and play the Olivet Comets on Sunday the 29th at 2 p.m.