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Yellow Jackets Fall Short in Weekend Opener

NEW WILMINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA - The Defiance College men's basketball team headed east to take on the Westminster College Titans on Friday night as part of the Buzz Ridl Classic. The Yellow Jackets fell to the Titans 67-60. 

It was tough to separate the two sides for much of the contest, as neither side held a lead larger than five points during the first half of action. Westminster held the first lead of four as approximately 10 minutes into the half the Titans grabbed a 13-9 advantage. The Yellow Jackets quickly turned the tides as Tyler Andrew (Indianapolis, Ind. / Lawrence Central) found space for a layup. The Titans looked to stay ahead before Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind. / Lafeyette Jefferson) came down with a defensive rebound and quickly found himself in position to tie the contest. 

The Purple and Gold found the largest lead of the half with 5:58 remaining, via a Davontae Kinnie (Ft. Wayne, Ind. / Northside) free throw, 18-13. The Titans rallied to find themselves back within one, before tying the contest with under one minute remaining in the first half of action. The Yellow Jackets emphatically took the lead just before halftime with a Jordan dunk. 

The back-and-forth affair saw similar results early in the second half as neither side could pull out a distinguished lead. 12:38 remained on the clock when Westminster took a 40-38 lead. The Titans began to stretch their lead, holding a seven point advantage at one point, before the Yellow Jackets found a second wind and fought back. 

As time ran down Head Coach Scott Cutter's side grabbed some momentum. Jordan Maschino (Bradford / Covington) grabbed a steal and headed up to court, the junior found space for a layup to cut the Titan lead to one. After a defensive stand, Andrew took a jump shot that just missed, Maschino grabbed the offensive board and put it back for a 58-57 lead for the Purple and Gold. 

The Titans were able to capitalize on a couple of possessions as the clock ran under one minute, forcing the Yellow Jackets to foul. Westminster was able to succeed from the charity stripe and found themselves with a 67-60 win as time expired. 

On the day, the Yellow Jackets shot 38.5% (20-52) from the field, while going 3-13 (23.1%) from beyond the arc. The Purple and Gold shot 60.7% (17-28) from the free-throw line. 

Offensively, three Yellow Jackets scored double digits in the contest, as Kinnie, Maschino, and Jordan each tallied 12. 

On the glass, Andrew lead the way with nine total rebounds, taking his team-leading tally to 21 on the season. DC forced 17 turnovers in the affair with both Jordan and Malachi McClain (Lansing, Mich. / Holt) snagging three steals each. 

Defiance will quickly look to rebound from the defeat. The Yellow Jackets stay in Westminster as they take on Thiel College Nov. 17 at 2:00 pm.