DEFIANCE, Ohio - Mason Roth made a pair of free throws with .7 seconds remaining to push the Defiance Yellow Jackets Men's Basketball team past Albion College 50-48 in the Purple and Gold Tournament semifinals on Sunday night. With the win, the Yellow Jackets (8-1) advance to play Ohio Wesleyan (8-2) in the finals Monday night at 7 p.m.
With the score tied at 48, Albion turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with six seconds remaining in the contest. Roth (McComb, Ohio/McComb) worked an opening into the lane and was fouled on a layup attempt in the final second.
Following a timeout by Albion after Roth made the second free throw, the Britons were able to get the ball in, but were unable to get a shot off before time expired on the ensuing in-bounds play.
The win improved Defiance's record to 36-3 in the opening round of the Purple and Gold Tournament. The Yellow Jackets are 21-14 all-time in the championship game and have won at least one game in all 39 years of the tournament.
Wade Wooley (Wauseon, Ohio/Wauseon HS) had a career night for the Yellow Jackets. The sophomore finished with his first career double-double on career highs in points and rebounds. Wooley had 10 points and 13 rebounds in the game.
Despite a season low in points, the Yellow Jackets never trailed by more than one point in the game. Defiance took an early lead and fought off Albion for much of the first half and the two teams went into the halftime break with Yellow Jackets carrying only a two point lead.
Albion took the lead on its first possession of the second half with a three pointer, but it was short lived as Ryan Hicks (Port Clinton, Ohio/Port Clinton) answered back with two of his team high 18 on the night. Hicks also finished with six rebounds and four assists.
Similar to the first half, Defiance was unable to build much of a lead as Albion was able to answer Defiance's runs with points of their own. Albion tied the game seven different times in the 40 minutes of play.
Drew Frizell (Smithville, Ohio/Smithville) and Travis Schomaeker (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glendorf) made back-to-back threes for the Yellow Jackets to give Defiance its biggest lead of the night at six with 6:57 remaining in the contest.
Schomaeker finished with nine points in the game. The junior also had two rebounds and an assist in 35 minutes.
Kent Tietje (Deshler, Ohio/Patrick Henry) had the only other two points on the night for Defiance. The junior also finished with a career high six rebounds.
For the first time all season, Defiance did not out-rebound its opponent. The Yellow Jackets had 39 rebounds, one shy of Albion's 40 in the game.
The Yellow Jackets had 12 assists in the game to eight turnovers while Albion finished with four assists and eight turnovers.
Defiance had six points off Albion's turnovers and were 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the game. Albion finished with four points of turnovers and were 4-of-13 from the free-throw line.
The Yellow Jackets will now set their sights on Ohio Wesleyan, who defeated No. 15 Marietta in the other semi-final game 79-74. Both Defiance and Ohio Wesleyan received votes in the most recent top 25 poll. The Yellow Jackets are 13-7 all-time against Ohio Wesleyan.