January 23, 2013

Defiance Escapes Anderson With a Win in Offensive Struggle

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ANDERSON, Ind. – The Yellow Jacket women's basketball squad completed the season sweep of Anderson on Wednesday evening in a 46-44 defensive battle. The victory gives the Purple and Gold seven-straight wins against the Ravens in the head-to-head matchup.

Defiance and Anderson battled throughout the first 11 minutes of the contest, as the Yellow Jackets held a one-point advantage after freshman Marissa Kath hit a jumper to put the Jackets up 15-14 with 9:22 remaining in the opening stanza.

The Purple and Gold then went ice cold for the remainder of the half, as DC was unable to generate any offense. The Yellow Jackets were held scoreless for the last nine minutes, as the Ravens ended the frame on an 11-0 run to take a double-digit 25-15 halftime lead.

DC shot just 6-27 from the field in the first, including 1-11 from downtown to go along with 10 turnovers. The 15 points matches the Jackets' lowest output in any half this season.

Anderson picked up right where it left off beginning the final frame, as the Ravens scored six of the first eight points to go up 31-17 with just under 17 minutes remaining. The Ravens' quick start woke the Jackets' offense up, as Kim Comden and Erica King responded with back-to-back three-pointers to trim the AU lead to eight at 31-23.

After a Cori Conner jumper increased Anderson's lead back to 10, the Yellow Jackets came storming back with a 14-0 burst over the next six minutes to grab a 37-33 lead, their first of the second half, with 7:53 remaining.

Anderson's Jenna Wittenberg answered the DC barrage with five-straight points of her own to put the Ravens back on top at 38-37, before Comden and Hannah Harshman responded with six points to give Defiance a 43-38 lead at the 3:25 mark, its largest lead of the game.

The Ravens refused to go away, as Anderson once again answered the bell and fought back in the waning minutes of the contest. The Ravens' Amy Wuestefeld converted two free throws with just under two minutes to go to cut the DC lead to one at 43-42. Anderson went on to take the lead with just 29 seconds left in the game, as Wittenberg toed the charity strip and knocked down two more free throws to give Anderson a 44-43 lead.

Defiance's Megan Zachrich came up with the heroics for the Yellow Jackets and dealt the Ravens' the knockout blow with just 20 seconds left in the game, as the sophomore hit a layup while being fouled to put the Jackets on top once again. The guard then hit the free throw to finish the three-point play and give the Purple and Gold a 46-44 lead.

The Ravens had one last shot, as Wuestefeld hoisted a three at the buzzer for the win, but was unable to convert, giving Defiance a hard-fought 46-44 victory.

The Yellow Jackets only had one player to notch a double-digit scoring performance, as King scored 11 points for the Purple and Gold. The sophomore added a career-high two blocks, two rebounds, two assists and a steal in the winning effort.

The win moves DC's conference record to 8-3, the program's best start since the 2001 season. Defiance's overall record now stands at 11-7 on the season.

The Jackets return home on Saturday for a crucial conference showdown against Transylvania, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's number one team in the standings. The contest is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m.

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