Roth hits jumper at buzzer to lead DC past Franklin 54-52

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FRANKLIN, Ind. – Mason Roth hit a jumper as time expired to push the Defiance College Yellow Jackets past Franklin College Saturday afternoon 54-52 in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference thriller.

Franklin (6-9, 3-5 HCAC) tied the game at 52 with a three-point play off of a layup and free throw with four seconds remaining. The Yellow Jackets (11-4, 6-2 HCAC) called a timeout following the free throw.

Roth took the in-bounds pass and drove the length of the floor. The junior pulled up on the right side from about 13 feet and connected on a shot that left his hands just before the buzzer sounded.

It was two of Roth's very important five points on the afternoon.

With DC trailing 47-42 and less than five minutes remaining, Mason Roth had a three-point play the hard way, making a lay up with the foul. Roth added a free throw to spark a DC rally.

On the next possession, Ryan Hicks followed with a jumper to tie the game at 47. Travis Schomaeker then hit a three on DC's next possession to force a Franklin timeout. Coming out of the timeout, DC forced a turnover and Hicks converted it to points with a jumper to give DC a five-point lead on a 10-0 run.

The Grizzlies added a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 52-49 with a minute to go and then tied the game with four seconds left.

Roth added four rebounds, two steals and an assist in the game. He also had a block.

Hicks, who started slow with just two points in the first half, finished with 10 on the day and grabbed five boards. Schomaeker also finished with 10 points, along with five assists and four rebounds.

Franklin started hot in the game, racing out to an eight-point lead over the first eight minutes. The Grizzlies made the first two baskets in the game, but Wade Wooley answered with a pair of layups to tie the game at 4. 

Wooley finished the game with five points, but also had 10 rebounds.

Franklin then ran away with an 11-3 run over the next three minutes to lead DC 15-7. The three points for DC came off of a Schomaeker three pointer.

Defiance answered with a 15-3 run of its own to take the lead late in the first half.  Noah Reed started the run for the Yellow Jackets with a three pointer. Bernard Edwards added four points off of a layup and free throws and Drew Frizell followed with another three for DC to tie the game.

Reed finished with four points and four rebounds.

Hicks gave the Yellow Jackets the lead with two free throws and Edwards added a three after a Franklin free throw to give the Yellow Jackets a 22-18 lead.

The teams then traded baskets for the remainder of the half with Frizell hitting another three and Edwards adding a jumper for DC, who went into the break with a 27-24 lead.

Edwards finished with a team high 11 points, along with three rebounds and a block. Frizell had a season high nine points in the game.

In a reversal of roles, Defiance started out the second half with a 4-0 run off of jumpers from Hicks. Franklin responded with a 14-3 run over the next six minutes to go up on the Yellow Jackets 38-34.

Schomaeker followed with a jumper and Frizell hit his third three of the game to answer with a quick run for DC, but Franklin extended its lead back to six points on a pair of three pointers and a free throw. That lead remained until DC's 10-0 run.

The Yellow Jackets shot 20-of-50 (.400) from the floor in the game and were 7-for-23 (.304) from three-point range. Defiance was 7-of-10 from the free-throw line.

Defiance held Franklin to 38 percent shooting in the game and outrebounded the Grizzlies 38-28.

The Yellow Jackets will return to action Wednesday night at Earlham. DC will take on Earlham at 7:30 p.m. in Richmond, Ind.