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Grizzlies Knock Off Jackets in HCAC Opener

Grizzlies Knock Off Jackets in HCAC Opener

DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's basketball team battled Franklin (Ind.) College, but fell in a 69-57 loss to the Grizzlies to open Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play at the Karl H. Weaner Center.

Defiance (2-3, 0-1 HCAC) was led by senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry), who had her fifth double-double of the season with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting (76.9 percent), to go along with 14 rebounds. 

The other Yellow Jacket to reach double figures was junior Brittany Osborne (Union City, Ind.), who finished the day with 10 points off the bench. Juniors Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) and Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) also came off the bench to add eight points each.

The key stat in the loss for DC was in the turnover column, as the Yellow Jackets turned it over 25 times, compared to just 13 for Franklin (3-3, 1-0). Defiance shot 47.8 percent (22-of-46) from the floor and just 26.7 percent (four-of-15) from beyond the arc, while the Grizzlies finished the game shooting at a 44.1 percent clip (26-of-59) overall and 31.6 percent (six-of-19) from deep. Defiance did hold a 32-27 edge on the glass despite the loss.

The Grizzlies started off the game with eight points in the opening three minutes to hold an 8-0 lead off the bat. But the Jackets responded with two buckets from Tietje, sandwiched by a Schalk jumper to get DC to within 8-6. The Grizzlies added another 8-2 spurt to jump the lead to eight points at 16-8 in the late stages of the quarter, but a triple by junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) cut the deficit to five, which would remain as Franklin held an 18-13 lead after one quarter of play.

A  jumper from Tietje and two free throws from Schalk got DC to within one point at, 18-17, at the 7:15 mark of the second period. But seven consecutive markers by the Grizzles grew the lead back to eight points, 25-17. Tietje and Osborne added jumpers to get it back to four points again, but that is as close as the game got in the quarter as Franklin finished the half scoring four consecutive points to extend to a 34-26 halftime advantage.

In the third quarter, Franklin increased the lead out to double digits and to as many as 12 points, 40-28, at the 8:17 mark. The Yellow Jackets and Grizzlies went back and forth for the remainer of the period, as the Franklin lead stayed between eight and 12 points for the final seven minutes of the third frame, ending with FC holding a 49-38 edge through three quarters.

The Grizzlies led by double figures throughout the fourth quarter and posted their largest lead of the game of 16 points, 61-45, with 4:36 remaining in the game.  Thanks to a pair of three-pointers by senior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) and Osborne, DC made it a 10-point ball game, 61-51, with 3:41 to go.  But that would be as close as the Jackets got the rest of the way as the Grizzlies went on to earn the 69-57 victory.

The Yellow Jackets continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 7 as they do battle with Manchester (Ind.) University in a HCAC matchup. The game will be played as a doubleheader with the DC men's team, with the women's game slated to begin at 6 p.m., followed by the men at 8 p.m., at the Karl H. Weaner Center.