NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. -- The Defiance College women's basketball team used an 18-4 opening quarter to cruise to a 73-51 victory against Manchester (Ind.) University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game.
The Yellow Jackets had another stellar performance from senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry), who scored 25 points to go along with 17 rebounds and seven blocks on the evening. With her 17 rebounds, she has now grabbed 338 boards for the season, setting a school single-season record. Tietje finished the night shooting seven-of-11 (63.6 percent) from the floor and 11-of-14 (78.5 percent) from the charity stripe.
Sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) added 12 points and three boards coming off the bench, while senior Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) chipped in with 11 markers, six rebounds, and three assists.
Defiance finished the contest shooting 46.2 percent (24-of-52) from the floor, compared to Manchester's 27.8 percent (20-of-72) performance. The Yellow Jackets also came home with a sizable rebound advantage, 49-33.
Senior Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) opened the contest with a triple to kick the Yellow Jackets (13-11, 10-7 HCAC) off on a 9-0 run in the game's first 2:36 of action. Following a Manchester (8-16, 7-10 HCAC) deuce, Tietje scored the ensuing four points, followed by a bucket by Ervin and a trey by senior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora), to give DC an 18-2 advantage at the 1:49 mark. Manchester wrapped up the quarter with a bucket to make it an 18-4 game after one period.
The Spartans cut the deficit to 10 points in the early stages of the second quarter, but Tietje knocked down a pair of free-throws and sophomore Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) knocked down a triple, to put DC ahead, 26-11, at the 7:00 mark. The teams battled back-and-forth for the remainder of the second, with Manchester cutting the lead to nine points in the final minutes, before Defiance went to the locker room with a 36-26 lead.
The Yellow Jackets began the third stanza with back-to-back buckets from Tietje, and a three-pointer by Williams, to vault the lead to. 43-26, just 1:41 into the quarter. The Defiance lead would be cut to 13 points before four straight points by Ervin made it 49-32 at the 2:09 mark. Manchester scored eight of the final 10 points of the third quarter to make it a 51-40 game after three quarters.
With Defiance holding a 54-42 lead, a triple from White kick-started an 11-0 DC spurt to shut the door on the Spartans, giving the Yellow Jackets a 65-42 lead with 3:38 to play. Defiance grew its lead to as many as 26 points, 72-46, with just under two minutes to play en route to the 73-51 final.
Defiance wraps up its regular season with a senior day matchup with HCAC Regular-Season Champion Rose-Hulman (Ind.) Institute of Technology on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Karl H. Weaner Center. The game is also part of a basketball doubleheader with the DC men. The women's game is set for a 1 p.m. tip and the men's game will follow at 3 p.m.