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Yellow Jackets Stumble Late in Loss to Pioneers

Yellow Jackets Stumble Late in Loss to Pioneers

DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College Yellow Jacket women's basketball team suffered a 70-50 defeat at the hands of the Transylvania (Ky.) University Pioneers in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup at the Karl H. Weaner Center.

Defiance (6-7, 3-3 HCAC) was led by senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry), who posted a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocked shots. Tietje shot five-of-seven (71.4 percent) from the floor, as well as a perfect five-of-five from the free-throw line. Also in double figures was senior guard Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora), who scored 12 points and added three boards and three steals.

As a team, Defiance shot 38.0 percent (19-of-50) from the floor and just two-of-16 (12.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The Pioneers (10-3, 4-2 HCAC) shot 44.2 percent (23-of-52) from the floor and 45.0 percent (nine-of-20) from deep. Transy also outrebounded the Yellow Jackets, 36-26.

The Pioneers jumped out to a 7-2 advantage in the opening few minutes of the first quarter before a three-point play from Tietje and a jumper by freshman Liz Martin (Bellefontaine) tied the contest at 7-7.  The game was still tied at 11-11 when Defiance rattled off the final four markers of the quarter to put DC ahead 15-11 after one.

Transylvania went on a 14-4 run to open the second period and put the Pioneers ahead by six points, at 25-19, with 4:11 to play. The teams would trade buckets before senior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) cut it to four points with a basket and junior Whitney Schalk (Bellevue) added back-to-back jumpers to tie the game again, this time at 27-27. The Pioneers scored the final points of the half to go out in front, 29-27, at the break. 

The visitors were quick to score five straight points to begin the third quarter and extended to a 34-27 advantage, but DC cut the deficit to four points, 35-31, at the 6:14 mark. That is the closest the game would get in the second half, as the Pioneers scored seven straight to give the road team a 42-31 edge. It was a 44-33 contest at the 2:58 mark when DC made their last surge, as Smay drained a triple and Tietje added a jumper to cut it to 44-38, but Transy would extend the lead to nine points after three frames, 49-40.

Smay started the final stanza with a fastbreak bucket, but the Pioneers answered with back-to-back triples to record their largest lead of the night at 55-42. The lead would remain 13 points until junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) hit a three-pointer to make it, 57-47, with 6:57 to go. The Pioneers then finished off the home team by scoring 13 of the next 14 points to take a commanding, 70-48, advantage before senior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) capped the contest with a fastbreak layup en route to the final score of 70-50.

Defiance will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Karl H. Weaner Center as they take on the Earlham College Quakers in an HCAC showdown. The game is set to tip-off at 7:30 p.m.