The Defiance College Men's Basketball team fell to Rose-Hulman Saturday afternoon 58-57 in a heart-breaking loss in the final seconds.
The Yellow Jackets (9-4, 4-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) had a one-point lead erased when Rose-Hulman (10-3, 5-1 HCAC) made both free-throw chances in a 1-and-1 opportunity with 4.2 seconds remaining in the game. Off of the ensuing inbound, Travis Schomaeker was able to get a three off before the buzzer, but was unable to connect.
Defiance was able to storm back from a nine-point deficit in the second half and Noah Reed gave the Yellow Jackets the lead with a layup at the three-minute mark.
Rose-Hulman answered with a basket of their own, but jumpers from Ryan Hicks and Bernard Edwards put DC back in front heading into the final minute. Then Rose-Hulman was able to cut the lead to one, but was forced to foul with seven seconds remaining.
Hicks missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Mason Roth was called for a foul on the scramble for the rebound, which set the Fightin' Engineers up for the go ahead free throws.
The two teams, which entered the day tied for first place, remained in a tightly contested battle through much of the game. The teams traded the lead throughout the first half with both teams shooting above 55-percent in the first 20 minutes.
Rose-Hulman carried a 30-28 lead into the half, large in part to outrebounding DC 15-5 on the boards. Rose-Hulman finished with a 34-20 advantage on the boards in the game.
Edwards and Hicks led all scorers in the first half with nine and eight points, respectively. 10 players for Rose-Hulman scored in the opening frame with no player scoring more than five points.
After a quick start in the second half by Rose-Hulman, Defiance's defense locked down and held the Engineers to 29 percent shooting in the second half. The Yellow Jackets closed the gap as DC continued to shoot above 50 percent in the second half.
Hicks finished with 19 points to lead all scorers in the game. Edwards also had 15 points as the duo both scored in double figures for the eighth time this season.
Roth led the team in rebounds with five on the afternoon and Schomaeker led DC with four assists. Wade Wooley and Kent Tietje each picked up a pair of blocks and combined for five points and seven rebounds.
Wooley was a large part of the comeback effort for DC. Wooley made a free throw and then picked up an offensive board, which he dished out to Drew Frizell for a three pointer to cut the deficit to five.
Hicks then followed with a jump shot and Wooley added another jumper to bring the deficit to three.
Baskets from Reed and Edwards kept the score close before DC took the lead in the final minutes.
The Yellow Jackets will look to rebound Wednesday night when Defiance hosts Bluffton in a double header against arch rival Bluffton. The women are set to tip at 6 p.m. with the men to follow at 8 p.m. inside the Karl H. Weaner Community Center.