DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College women's basketball team dropped their regular-season finale to Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season champion Rose-Hulman (Ind.) Institute of Technology, 72-48, on senior day at the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Senior Kelsey Tietje (Deshler/Patrick Henry) was the lone double-digit scorer for the Yellow Jackets, scoring 19 points on five-of-10 (50.0 percent) shooting from the floor and nine-of-10 (90.0 percent) from the charity stripe. Tietje also pulled down 12 rebounds, blocked four shots and dished out two assists in the DC defeat.
Seniors Ashley Williams (Leipsic/Pandora-Gilboa) and Keri Conine (Ottawa/Pandora-Gilboa) scored eight points apiece, while junior Mekai White (Cincinnati/Winton Woods) and sophomore Sam Ervin (Bloomdale/Elmwood) chipped in with six markers each.
The Yellow Jackets struggled from the field, shooting just 14-of-47 (29.8 percent) from the floor and five-of-20 (25.0 percent) from deep on the contest. The Engineers, meanwhile, shot 29-of-64 (45.3 percent) overall in the victory. RHIT also finished the afternoon having committed just three turnovers, while Defiance turned the ball over 16 times.
Rose-Hulman (22-3, 17-1 HCAC) dominated the majority of the opening period, running out to a 13-4 lead at the 3:34 mark. The lead remained at eight points late in the quarter when Williams knocked down a triple to cut the deficit to 17-12, as Defiance (13-12, 10-8 HCAC) trailed by the same score after one quarter.
The Engineers began the second quarter scoring six straight points to grow the lead to 23-12 with 7:29 to go in the half. The RHIT lead remained between seven and 11 points for the remainder of the quarter and went to the locker room with a 35-26 hafltime edge.
Following a layup from the Engineers to begin the scoring in the second half, Conine and senior Erica Smay (Defiance/Tinora) drained consecutive three-pointers to cut the deficit to 37-32 with 7:34 to play in the quarter. DC later made it a four-point game thanks to three consectuve freebies to make it a 41-37 contest. Still trailing by four points, 43-39, Rose-Hulman rattled off six straight markers to extend the advantage back to double-digits, 49-39, late in the third. Tietje halted the spurt by hitting two free-throws, but the Engineers capped the third by hitting two free-throws of their own to make it a 51-41 game after three periods.
The Engineers put the game away by scoring 12 of the first 13 points of the fourth quarter, garnering a 63-42 advantage with 5:29 to play. With the lead still at 21, Tietje split a pair of free-throws and Williams nailed a trey to make it 65-48, but the Engineers scored the final five points en route to a 72-48 victory.
The Yellow Jackets will enter the HCAC Tournament as the sixth-seed and will hit the road on Tuesday, Feb. 21 for a matchup with the third-seeded Transylvania (Ky.) University. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Lexington, Ky.