DEFIANCE, Ohio – On Tuesday night in the first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game of the 2019-20 season for both teams, the Defiance College women's basketball squad got a game-winning shot from Taylor Day (West Mansfield, Ohio/North Union) with less than a second left to defeat the Anderson University (Ind.) Ravens, 56-54, inside the Karl H. Weaner Community Center.
"The first win of the season, first conference win, that's a great double," Defiance head coach Allan King Jr. said. "The girls needed it. They have been working so hard and they believe in what we do. They keep pushing even though we haven't had the success. This was because of their effort."
After Anderson tied the contest with 25 seconds to go, the Yellow Jackets held the ball for a last shot before Day's short jumper went through the net with only 0.1 second showing on the clock. Before that, Danielle Carruthers (New London, Ohio/New London) sank two foul shots with 1:11 remaining to give DC a 54-52 lead.
"We had a playmaker in Taylor Day making a play," King said. "She took it and made the game-winner but before that, Dani Carruthers knocked down free throws, was being tough and had a great second half."
Defiance got out to a 9-2 start before trailing, 17-15, after one quarter. After the Ravens took their biggest advantage of the evening at 25-17, they led 31-26 at halftime and 46-42 at the end of the third period. The Yellow Jackets went back on top when Carruthers hit her clutch shots from the free throw line before AU tied things back up, setting the stage for Day's heroics.
DC outscored its guests 15-7 at the foul line and collected 46 rebounds to Anderson's 36. Both teams attempted 18 three-pointers with Defiance making three (16.7 percent) and the Ravens five (27.8). Overall from the field, the squads also struggled as the Jackets shot 34.5 percent (19 of 55) and AU 33.3 (21 of 63).
For the winners, freshmen Taylor Steinbrunner (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) and Lauren Criblez (Harrod, Ohio/Allen East) led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points apiece off the bench. Day finished with nine points, six rebounds and a pair of steals while freshman Josi Wolf (LaRue, Ohio/Elgin) scored eight points. Carruthers ended with seven points and a game-high 11 boards.
"The freshmen are starting to pick it up and understand where they should be," King said. "They're getting to know each other, get some chemistry and know other people."
DC moves to 1-3 overall on the season while Anderson is 2-4. Defiance is right back in action tomorrow when traveling to play a non-conference game at Ohio Wesleyan University. Wednesday's tipoff is slated for 7 p.m. in Delaware, Ohio.