ADA, Ohio – Defiance overcame a 17-point second-half deficit and outscored Ohio Northern by a 27-5 clip over the final 9:42 of action to steal a 69-64 road victory over the Polar Bears on Tuesday night.
The Jackets trailed 59-42 with just under 10 minutes left in the game, but nailed four-of-seven triples down the stretch and connected on seven-of-11 shots overall to fuel the decisive rally. Logan Wolfrum spurred the run by pouring in nine points and assisting on three other DC buckets in that stretch.
A three-point make from Drew Frizell sparked the Yellow Jacket charge and a pair of steals from Ryan Hicks allowed Defiance to claw to within 11 points, after trips to the charity stripe from Hicks and Jordan Fair were followed by a three-point play from Mason Roth.
ONU (2-1) pushed the spread back to 13 points at 63-50 with 7:00 minutes to play, but Wolfrum took the game over and fueled a 15-0 rally to turn the game in Defiance's favor.
Wolfrum started the stretch with a pair of free throws, before assisting a trey from Roth, picking up a steal and finding Frizell for another long-range jumper that brought the Jackets within five points. Wolfrum then followed a layup with a triple of his own to bring Defiance even at 65 all with 2:37 showing on the clock.
Hicks continued the run with a pair of free throws that gave DC its first lead since the 5:36 mark of the opening stanza and pushed the spread to 67-64 on a jumper in the paint nearly one minute later.
That would be all the Jackets would need, as Wolfrum added two more free throws to cap the 19-1 spurt over the final seven minutes and seal the 69-64 victory for Defiance.
Wolfrum led the way with 20 points, five assists, three steals and one block for his 28th game with at least 20 points in his four-year career.
Hicks provided plenty of help in a career night, stuffing the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks. The junior played all 40 minutes, sank 10-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe and set career-highs in points, assists, steals and blocks.
Roth joined Wolfrum and Hicks in double figures with 11 points, while Travis Schomaeker and Frizell added six points each off the bench.
Defiance (1-2) will take a week off before returning to action against Alma on November 28. The game will be DC's home opener and will follow a women's game at 6:00 pm.