DEFIANCE, Ohio - Defiance College matched its best start to a season in the Kyle Brumett era Tuesday night with a 70-66 victory over Ohio Northern in front of a near-capacity crowd inside the Karl H. Weaner Center.
Ryan Hicks and Travis Schomaeker scored 27 and 26 points, respectively in the contest to lead the Yellow Jackets (4-0) past the Polar Bears (2-1).
Defiance's four wins to start the season matches the 2009-10 campaign, in which the Yellow Jackets went on to finish with a 23-6 record that included an HCAC Championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in Brumett's second season at the helm of the Purple and Gold.
Hicks picked up his first double-double of the season as the senior also brought down a season-high 11 rebounds in the game. His 27 points matched his season high.
Schomaeker also put up a season high with his 26 points after shooting 7-of-11 from the floor, including 5-of-8 from behind the arch. The junior was also 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
After Ohio Northern jumped out to a four-point lead in the first few minutes, Defiance went on a 20-2 run to take a 14 point lead midway through the first half. 13 points in the run came from Hicks, who finished the first half with 19 points and eight rebounds.
The teams traded baskets for much of the remainder of the half and the Yellow Jackets carried a 33-23 lead into the halftime break. Schomaeker, who had not made a shot until two minutes remaining in the half, finished with DC's final five points in the first 20 minutes.
Schomaeker then carried Defiance in the second half with 21 points, as Ohio Northern slowly trickled back into the game. Schomaeker's 21 in the second half marked the first time a Yellow Jacket scored at least 20 points in a half since Logan Wolfrum scored 28 in the second half against Anderson on December 5, 2012.
Ohio Northern used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to draw even with the Yellow Jackets at 43, but Schomaeker and Hicks opened the lead back up to eight with a mini run for Defiance. The Polar Bears again tied the contest at 57 before the Yellow Jackets retook the lead that they never relinquished.
Hicks and Schomaeker were joined by Mason Roth and Bernard Edwards as the Yellow Jackets made 13-straight free throws late in the contest to pull away from ONU.
For the game, DC finished 20-for-26 from the free-throw line. Roth totaled seven points with three rebounds, two assists, and a steal in the contest and Edwards finished with three points, two rebounds and a block.
Wade Wooley grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in the game and finished with a block and two points.
For the first time this season, Defiance didn't out-rebound its opponent as both teams finished with 32 rebounds in the game.
The Yellow Jackets finished with 51 percent shooting from the field, including 43 percent from behind the arch. The Defiance defense held Ohio Northern to 40 percent shooting from the field and 27 percent shooting from three-point range.
Defiance will now head into the Thanksgiving Break with the HCAC schedule getting underway after the holiday weekend. The Yellow Jackets will travel to Manchester on Wednesday, Dec. 4th. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip in North Manchester, Ind.