DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Yellow Jacket women's basketball team hosted No. 12 Hope College in its home opener on Tuesday evening. The Purple and Gold used a strong second half to put the Flying Dutch on the ropes, but the upset bid fell short, as DC lost by a score of 52-46.
Defiance jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the opening minutes, thanks to a three-pointer from Erica King and a jumper from Megan Zachrich. The teams traded buckets and a Hannah Harshman field goal gave the Jackets a 10-6 lead with just over five minutes gone by in the contest.
After the DC make, Hope showed why it is a national powerhouse and responded with a 14-0 run over the next seven minutes to take a 20-10 lead. The Flying Dutch managed to extend their lead to 17, as the Jackets trailed 32-15 at the break. King paced the Purple and Gold with nine points at half.
With a little over 10 minutes remaining in the contest, the Jackets still trailed by 15 with a score of 44-29, and then Kim Comden came alive and went on a personal 6-0 run to pull the Yellow Jackets within single digits. The Dutch responded with four-straight points to squelch the DC run and increase the lead back up to 13.
The Purple and Gold refused to give in and went on 9-0 run to draw within four points with 40 seconds remaining. The spurt was sparked by back-to-back treys from King followed by a three-point field goal by Rachel Ciminillo.
After a missed free throw by Hope, the Jackets had a chance to make it a one-possession game, but the King jumper did not fall for Defiance. The Purple and Gold were forced to send the Dutch to the line where Liz Ellis sank two free throws to secure the victory and survive the Jackets' furious comeback attempt.
King shined for DC, as the junior lit it up from behind the arc going 5-6 from distance. King finished with 17 points on the evening, her highest output of the season. With five treys, the Pettisville product moved into fifth place in DC history for career three-point field goals with 121 and is only 21 makes behind Courtney Schmersal, the school's all-time leader.
Zachrich also had a career night for the Yellow Jackets, as the sophomore smashed her previous best rebounding game of eight with 12 boards against the lengthy Hope squad. Zachrich finished with eight defensive and four offensive rebounds. Another DC member who had a noteworthy night was Comden, who scored 14 points on 6-9 shooting, with all the points coming in the second half.
The loss moves the Purple and Gold's record to 0-3 after a brutal slate of games to begin the season. The Yellow Jackets have a week off for Thanksgiving and then are back in the Hive to host Alma on Wednesday, November 28. The tip is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.