DEFIANCE, OHIO -- Senior Kelsey Tietje scored 13 points to become Defiance College's all-time leading scorer in women's basketball, but Franklin (Ind.) College snapped the Yellow Jackets' five-game winning streak with a 55-48 victory in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest in Franklin, Ind.
Tietje's 13 markers led DC as the senior shot five-of-nine (55.6 percent) from the floor and grabbed 17 rebounds despite the loss. Senior guard Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) added eight points, while junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) chipped in with seven points.
The Yellow Jackets shot 20-of-49 (40.8 percent) overall and struggled from beyond the arc going just three-of-14 (21.4 percent). Defiance also shot just five-of-11 (45.5 percent) from the charity stripe. The Grizzlies were 21-of-55 (38.2 percent) from the floor and three-of-12 (25.0 percent) from deep.
The Grizzlies (10-10, 7-7 HCAC) scored six of the game's first eight points, before White knocked down a three to cut the Franklin lead to a point, 6-5. Franklin then scored four straight points to make it a 10-5 contest and continued the momentum to hold a 16-9 lead after the opening stanza was complete.
Franklin grew their lead to 12 points, 21-9, early in the second quarter, before Williams hit a triple that was followed by a layup by sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) got DC (12-9, 9-5 HCAC) to within seven points, 21-14 with 6:46 left before halftime. The five points were part of a larger 11-2 Defiance scoring run that cut the deficit to 23-20 with 3:47 to go. Following a Franklin basket to extend the margin back out to five points, the Jackets continued the streak with seven unanswered points, capped by a layup from senior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa), and gave DC their first lead, 27-25, with under a minute to play. Franklin scored the final two points to tie the contest, 27-27, at the halftime break.
The third quarter opened with the teams exchanging buckets which kept the game tied at 31-31 early. The Grizzlies went on a 12-2 run to lead by 10 points, 43-33, with 25 seconds remaining in the period. Ervin scored the final points of the quarter on a jumper, but the Jackets still trailed, 43-35, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Grizzly lead remained eight points at the 6:42 mark when DC began to rally. It started with back-to-back buckets from Conine and Tietje and ended with two free-throws from Williams to make it a 47-46 game with 2:31 to play. But that was as close as the game would get, as the DC shooting went cold which allowed Franklin to put the game away with an 8-0 run to go up by nine points en route to the the 55-48 final.
The Yellow Jackets return to the Karl H. Weaner Center on Wednesday, Feb. 8 as they take on Bluffton University in a HCAC contest. The game will be the opener of a Wednesday night doubleheader with the DC men's team. The women's game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and the men's game will follow at 8 p.m.