FRANKLIN, IND. – The Defiance College women's basketball team traveled to Franklin, Ind. to face Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Franklin (Ind.) College in the first round of the HCAC Tournament and ended their season falling to the Grizzlies, 51-42.
Junior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) led the Yellow Jacket offense with a game-highs of 15 points (five-of-nine shooting) and 15 rebounds to tally her 17th double-double of the season. Junior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) was the only other Yellow Jacket to score in double-digits with 11 points (two-of-nine shooting), which included going five-of-seven from the free-throw line.
In the first two minutes of play, Defiance (7-19) took an early 5-4 lead over Franklin (19-7) with a three-pointer from junior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) and a layup from Tietje. The Grizzlies retaliated with seven unanswered points to take an 11-5 lead with 5:25 on the clock. Junior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) scored the next four points for the Yellow Jackets to bring Defiance to within two points, 11-9, with just over three minutes to play. The Grizzlies connected once more on a free-throw to end the scoring in the quarter and lead, 12-9, after the first quarter.
Defiance slowly chipped away at the deficit in the second quarter, starting with Smay connecting on two free-throws to make the score 12-11 just 15 seconds in. The next several minutes saw alternating baskets and the Yellow Jackets pulled to within one point once again at the 3:08 minute mark, 21-20. Despite efforts from the Yellow Jackets, the Grizzlies scored the last five points to pull ahead, 26-20, heading into the locker rooms.
The start of the third saw back-and-forth action until back-to-back baskets from the Grizzlies gave them their first double-digit lead of the game, 34-24, at the 6:38 minute mark. Tietje scored a layup on DC's next possession to bring the score to within eight points, 34-26. A scoring lag over the next several minutes was cut short by a basket from the Grizzlies, 36-26, at the 4:23 minute mark. The final minute of the third was locked-up with the teams scoring five points each, but the Yellow Jacket trailed, 41-31, at the buzzer.
Franklin scored five unanswered points and ran several minutes off the clock to start the fourth before Tietje connected on a layup at the 4:06 minute mark making the score, 46-33. The Yellow Jackets then outscored the Grizzlies, 9-5, in the final minutes, but it was too late as the clock ran out with the final score, 51-42, in favor of Franklin.