DEFIANCE, Ohio – In a home Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game on Saturday afternoon, the Defiance College men's basketball squad defeated the previously unbeaten Hanover College Panthers by the score of 75-69 at the Karl H. Weaner Community Center.
With the win, Defiance improves to 7-1 overall this season and takes over sole possession of first place in the HCAC at 2-0. Hanover slips to 6-1 overall, including 2-1 in conference play.
"I told our guys that was a legit big win versus a really good team and you had to fight to do it," DC head coach Scott Cutter said. "It wasn't always pretty but we just found a way.
"The conference was not going to be won tonight and it was not going to be lost tonight. There's still 16 more games to play."
Down 69-64, the Yellow Jackets ended the contest on an 11-0 run behind five points from Sean Tyson (Columbus, Ohio/Centennial) and four from Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson). Tyson put the hosts up, 73-69, on a three-point field goal with 24 seconds to go before Jordan sealed the victory by making two free throws with 15.4 remaining.
"We got stops and then we made the plays," Cutter said. "Marell had a tremendous game and then Sean hitting that shot at the end, I'm just super happy for Sean to finish the game off like that."
The Panthers led, 24-17, before Defiance came back to take a 34-30 halftime advantage. There were 10 lead changes in the second half before the Yellow Jackets held HC scoreless over the final 3:53.
For the contest, DC shot 50.0 percent (27 of 54) from the field and 91.7 (11 of 12) at the foul line, compared to 39.0 (23 of 59) and 75.0 (12 of 16), respectively, for the guests. From three-point range, Defiance hit 10 of 25 (40.0 percent) while Hanover was 11 of 35 (31.4). The Yellow Jackets also got 35 points off the bench to the Panthers' 19.
In a reserve role, Jordan poured in a game- and season-high 24 points – shooting 9 of 13 from the floor, including 4 of 6 on three-pointers – and also had a game-best three steals for the winners. Tyson recorded 17 points and a game-high four assists while Tyler Andrew (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence Central) scored nine points and pulled down eight rebounds, another game best.
DC travels to play HCAC foe Anderson University on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. in Anderson, Indiana.