Yellow Jackets fall to DI Oakland 87-66 for first loss

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ROCHESTER, Mich. – The Defiance College Yellow Jackets suffered their first loss of the season Friday night at the hands of Division I Oakland University, falling to the Golden Grizzlies 87-66 at the O'rena.

The Yellow Jackets (7-1) started off strong, managing to maintain the lead over Oakland through the first three media timeouts inside of the eight-minute mark.

Mason Roth hit the first two baskets of the game for Defiance, both from behind the arch, giving the Yellow Jackets a 6-4 lead.

Bernard Edwards, Wade Wooley and Ryan Hicks followed with baskets for the next 10 points to maintain a 16-13 lead.

Noah Reed followed with a three to give DC its largest lead of the game at 19-13. The Yellow Jackets held the lead over the Golden Grizzlies (5-10) until 22-21.

Coming out of the eight-minute media timeout, Oakland got on a roll and scored 21 points to Defiance's eight over the remainder of the half.

Each team had five three-pointers in the first half, but Oakland capitalized with nine free throws on 12 attempts. Defiance made both of its two free throw attempts in the first 20 minutes.

The Yellow Jackets came out strong again in the second half, going on a 9-0 run after Oakland scored the first three points of the half.

Defiance's run, which included five points from Hicks and a three-pointer from Edwards, cut the Oakland lead to nine points at 49-38.

Edwards finished with a team-high 17 points. Hicks had 15 and Roth finished with 12. It marked the second straight game with three Yellow Jackets in double figures.

However, the Golden Grizzlies followed it up with a 10-2 run of their own over the next three minutes to extend the lead back to 59-40 with 11:26 remaining in the half.

Wade Wooley added a pair of baskets as DC and Oakland traded baskets over the next two minutes. Wooley finished with six points. Wooley also tied with Hicks for the team lead on the boards in the game with seven.

Defiance was able to get Oakland into foul trouble and the Yellow Jackets went on a run of making 12 straight points from the free throw line before Kent Tietje made a layup on a missed free-throw attempt.

The Yellow Jackets were strong from the free-throw line on the night, finishing 22-of-24 (.917). Free throws made and free-throw percentage were season highs for Defiance (21 and .808).

The Yellow Jackets continued to dominate opponents on the boards in the losing effort. Defiance out-rebounded Oakland 34-28 in the contest. The Yellow Jackets have not been out-rebounded all season.

The Yellow Jackets will return to action Sunday night in the opening round of the Purple and Gold Financial Invitational. The Yellow Jackets will host Albion in the second game of a doubleheader that features Ohio Wesleyan and Marietta in the first game at 5 p.m.