DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's basketball team played a close game against Transylvania (Ky.) University for the majority of the contest, but a 24-6 third quarter in favor of the Pioneers resulted in a 75-67 loss for the Yellow Jackets in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game and regular-season home finale at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Defiance was led in scoring by junior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) with a game-high 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting (57.9 percent), including seven-of-eight (87.5 percent) from the free-throw line. She also grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds to complete her 14th double-double of the season. Three other Yellow Jackets scored in double figures with junior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) scoring 12 points and junior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) with 11 points. Rounding out the high scorers was freshman Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) with 10 points.
The two teams traded leads in the opening minutes of the first quarter. Nearing the midway point of the period, Defiance (6-16, 5-10 HCAC) went on a 9-0 scoring run that gave the Jackets a seven-point advantage, 16-9, at the 4:13 minute mark. Transylvania (16-6, 12-3 HCAC) answered with a run of its own, outscoring DC, 14-4, to regain the lead before a triple by Smay to end the quarter, tied the game at 23-23 after the first 10 minutes of play.
The second quarter belonged to Defiance early on as the Jackets began the period with a 12-4 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Williams and resulted in the largest lead of the game of eight points, 35-27, with 6:46 to go in the half. The Pioneers would rally again, however, with five straight points to cut the DC lead to three points, 35-32, with a little under two minutes remaining. Williams connected on another long range shot to end the scoring in the period to give DC a 38-32 margin at the break.
Coming out of the locker rooms, the DC offense struggled with its only points of the third quarter coming on a pair of jumpers by Tietje and a bucket by Ervin. All three baskets for the Jackets came early in the period and were held scoreless the remaining 7:42. Transylvania capitalized by scoring 15 unanswered points to jump out to a 56-44 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Transylvania kept the momentum going in the fourth and quickly took control building its largest lead of the game of 18 points, 67-49, with just under six minutes to go in the game. This time, it was DC who looked to rally with an ensuing 9-0 run to cut the deficit in half, 68-57, with 2:53 to go. The Pioneers would extend their lead back to double figures before another late charge by the Jackets saw the deficit shrink to just seven points, 74-67, following a basket by freshman Abby Sarabia (Toledo/Whitmer). But time was not on DC's side as the Sarabia jumper came with just 23 seconds left and were the final points of the game for the Jackets. Transylvania added a free-throw in the final seconds en route to the 75-67 victory.
The Pioneers were led in scoring by Katelyn Smith with 23 points. Shawn Kolani was second with 16 points and Lindsay Hieronymus and Celia Kline both added 10 points.
Defiance will play its final two games of the regular season on the road beginning with a matchup against Manchester (Ind.) University on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in North Manchester, Ind. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.