FRANKLIN, IND. – The Defiance College women's basketball team fell to Franklin (Ind.) College in their first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference road game, 70-34.
Junior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) led the Yellow Jacket offense with eight points (three-of-10 shooting). Juniors Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) and Keri Conine (Ottowa/Pandora-Gilboa) rounded out the top scorers with five points a piece. Tietje also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.
Franklin (4-1, 1-0 HCAC) started strong with a 10-0 scoring run over Defiance (1-5, 1-1 HCAC) to begin the game that concluded at the 5:34 minute mark. Conine put the Yellow Jackets on the scoreboard with a jumper to make the score 10-2 with just over five minutes left to play in the first quarter. A few minutes later, Conine found the net again, this time with a three-pointer to bring the score to 14-5 at the 3:24 minute mark. Defiance was able to score one more time off of a free-throw from freshman Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) before the quarter ended, but trailed, 20-6, after the first 10 minutes.
The second quarter proved to be the same start, with a Franklin 6-0 run before the Yellow Jackets scored off of two free-throws from Tietje at the 6:58 mark, making the score 26-8. The next possession, Williams stole the ball and capitalized with a jumper to add to the score, 26-10. The next few minutes belonged to the Grizzlies with a 7-0 run to leave just over two minutes left to play and boasted a 33-10 margin. Back-and-forth baskets from sophomore Brittany Osborne (Union City, Ind. /Union City), Ervin and junior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) brought the half to an end with the Jackets trailing, 40-17.
Defiance looked to chip away at their deficit, and came out of the locker rooms scoring first, with a three-pointer from Williams just under a minute into the second half. The Grizzlies then went on another 7-0 burst before Williams put a stop to the run with another three at the 6:59 minute mark. Another short 7-0 run came from the Grizzlies to make the score 54-23 before Osborne made a layup to make the score 54-25 with 4:26 left to play in the period. Defiance and Franklin alternated baskets with just over three minutes to play. Despite efforts from both teams, the rest of the quarter was scoreless and the quarter ended, 56-27, in favor of the Grizzlies.
Franklin took control of the fourth quarter, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 14-7. Tietje began the fourth with a free-throw to make the score 56-28. The next Yellow Jacket points came from a pair of free-throws from Tietje, 62-30, at the 7:46 minute mark. The teams alternated the next few possessions until freshman Shelby Stamm (Bellevue) cashed in on a three-point play off of jumper and a freebie from a foul, 66-33, with three minutes left in the quarter. The final points for the Yellow Jackets came off of the hands of sophomore Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) in the form of a free-throw, 68-34, with just over a minute left to play. A late bucket from Franklin finalized the score, 70-34, in favor of the Grizzlies.
The Yellow Jackets will return to action on Saturday Dec. 12 when they travel to Hanover, Ind. to face HCAC foe Hanover (Ind.) College. The game will be part of a basketball doubleheader with the Yellow Jacket men's team. The women's game will begin at 3 p.m. with the men beginning at 1 p.m.