DEFIANCE, Ohio – At home against the Bluffton University Beavers – a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival – on Wednesday night, the Defiance College men's basketball team ended up on the short end of a 68-64 score inside the Karl H. Weaner Community Center.
With the loss, Defiance falls to 7-5 overall and 2-3 in the HCAC. Bluffton also has a 7-5 overall record and is now 3-2 in conference play.
After five early lead changes, the Beavers went ahead, 32-19, before settling for a 37-30 halftime advantage. The Yellow Jackets rallied to take their only lead of the second half, 50-49 with less than 10 minutes left, before the guests moved back in front by six points on two occasions. Up 66-64, BU sealed the win by making a pair of free throws with 4.1 seconds remaining.
Both teams shot similar percentages from the field and three-point territory, but the big difference came at the foul line, where DC was just 10 of 21 (47.6 percent) while Bluffton made 10 of 13 (76.9). Defiance's bench outscored the Beavers, 24-8, and the hosts committed a season-low eight turnovers to BU's 10.
For the Yellow Jackets, freshman Owen Hiegel (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf) led the way with a career-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor. Off the bench, freshman Avonte Jones (Columbus, Ohio/Pickerington Central) also registered a career best with 13 points while freshman David Perkins (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North) scored 11 and pulled down nine rebounds, including seven offensively. Sean Tyson (Columbus, Ohio/Centennial) had 11 points and a game-high five assists with Marell Jordan (Lafayette, Ind./Jefferson) contributing nine points and seven boards.
DC is on the road for an HCAC contest with Transylvania University this Saturday with tipoff in Lexington, Kentucky, scheduled at 3 p.m. The game follows the Defiance-Transylvania women's matchup that is set for 1 p.m.