CINCINNATI – The Yellow Jacket women's basketball team earned a hard-fought win over Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Mount St. Joseph on Saturday afternoon. The Purple and Gold outscored the Lions 39-29 in the second half to capture a 74-72 win.
Defiance trailed for much of the first half, as Mount used a shooting frenzy from beyond the three-point arc to take an eight-point lead into the half at 43-35. The Lions connected on 7-8 shots from distance in the opening stanza.
Senior Kim Comden recorded eight points in the first, as the Purple and Gold had nine different players score in the frame. Despite the balanced scoring, the Yellow Jackets shot just over 30 percent from the field, leading to the eight-point deficit.
Despite Defiance's best effort to significantly cut into the Lions' lead, the Jackets still found themselves trailing by seven with 12:23 left on the clock. Then Comden and Erica King combined to score the game's next six points and nearly erase the deficit, as DC trailed by just one at 55-54.
The Jackets wasted little time in grabbing its first lead of the second half, as Defiance outscored the Lions over the next two minutes 5-3, capped off by a trey from King to give DC a one-point advantage.
Mount St. Joseph responded with three straight points of its own to regain the lead at 61-59 with over six minutes until the final whistle.
The Purple and Gold controlled the next five minutes of action, as the Jackets went on an 11-2 run to jump out to a seven-point lead at 70-63 with just under 90 seconds left in the contest.
The Lions once again answered DC's run and refused to go down quietly. MSJ scored nine of the game's next 11 points to knot the game up at 72-72 with just 24 ticks left on the clock.
After DC just blew the seven-point lead, King stepped up and saved the Yellow Jackets. The junior was fouled with eight seconds left and converted the free throw to give the Purple and Gold the lead and the victory, as DC went on to win 74-72.
Comden and King carried the Jackets in the second half, as the duo combined to score 29 of DC's 39 points in the final 20 minutes. Comden scored a game-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season and tenth of her career.
King added 19 points and had a career day on the glass. The junior finished with a career-high 12 rebounds, shattering her previous best total of seven. The Pettisville native also matched a career mark in blocks with two and recorded her first double-double as a Yellow Jacket.
The win snaps a two-game losing streak and improves the team's HCAC record to 9-5 and its season record to 12-9. The squad returns to action on Wednesday, February 6, as the Jackets travel to Earlham in an attempt to complete a season sweep of the Quakers. The contest begins at 7:30 p.m.